I’ve recently come to a realisation, and it’s pretty profound. Your life is moving at the exact speed it’s supposed to. I don’t know if I believe in fate as such, but I do think that everything happens for a reason and steps of my life that I’d have happily hit fast-forward through are integral to the person I am today, and to where I’ll be in the future too. Deep shit right there, I know. See the thing is, I’ve spent a lot of my life attempting to rush through the milestones assuming that once I hit a certain age or progress to the next step my life will truly begin. Surely I’m not alone in this foolishness? I can’t say that I had a eureka moment as such, but I have come to understand that life begins from the moment you take your first breath, and everything that falls into place after that point is all a part of the journey. And yes, I want to strangle me right now for all these repulsive cliches, and for using the word journey in any other context than the M25.
The problem with cliches is that they’re usually true. We get so caught up in waiting for the next big step to happen, or simply wanting more and assuming that at a certain point in time it will all magically spring together, that we forget to actually make the most of the here and now. When I was 11 I remember walking home from school with my friend Megan. We would see all the older girls and they seemed so grown up. They had boyfriends, they wore bras and lipstick. They evidently – at the ripe old age of 17 – had their shit together and were living their lives. You can imagine then, how pissed off I was on the eve of my seventeenth birthday when the ‘adoring’ boyfriend had broken up with me (by text) a few days before, my boobs were still only a B cup on a good day and I still wore those 7Up and Fanta flavoured Smackers (seriously though, can we bring those back?)
Yesterday I sat the first of my university finals; in just 29 short days I will have officially bid farewell to education forever. Surely that’s when my life really begins? When I got my timetable through at the beginning of March I was initially a bit miffed that my exams finish two weeks later than I’d anticipated. In reality, it had nothing to do with my revision stamina and far more to do with the fact that I am desperate to graduate. In part, my haste is justified; I have a business that I am eternally proud of waiting for me, travels to start planning and a crushing weight awaiting its ascent off of my shoulders. Part of me wonders though, if this is just another element of my yearning to dive head first into the next chapter of my life.
I don’t think it’s just me that feels this pressure. In general we – as a generation, as a society – are not particularly good at recognising the beauty in where we are in life in this precise moment. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more for yourself, but there is with sitting around unfulfilled just waiting for that dream job to come along, that dead beat relationship to run its course or that gym membership to work its self out. I’m not really into this ‘just follow your dreams’ spiel because whilst I really do wish that every single person could just rise every morning and pursue their hearts desire, the reality is that there are bills to pay, responsibilities to live up to and obligations to fulfil. It’s too easy to say that if you’re unhappy in a situation you should just change it because it’s rarely that simple, but if you’re waiting for the universe to change it for you then you’re going to be lacklustre for a very long time.
I tend to find that even those I know who are most content with their lives – and honestly right now I’m pretty good mates with mine – are still yearning for the next milestone. Those sparkling graduate jobs have their eyes on partnership. The gorgeous rented flat just wants to be owned. The fairytale relationship wants a ring. I know I’m generalising, but the gist applies to most situations and the reality is that whilst there are always going to be higher mountains to climb (somebody please shoot me), bigger pay cheques to earn and older, wiser versions of ourselves to be, maybe – just maybe – we are exactly where we are supposed to be in this very moment.
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