I originally posted this on Facebook in June of 2019…
I had this conversation with someone on Thursday, and it really got me thinking.
He asked me about my plans for the summer, traveling, having time off as a teacher, and how I’m turning 30 in two weeks.
Then he said that at 26 he was having a “mid-life crisis” in a way. He thought he’d be farther along right now. He was disappointed with his job and living situation, etc. I responded by saying that I think most people feel like that (as in we thought we’d have more, be more, be in a different place, and so on).
He said, “Well aren’t you living your dream life as a teacher?” I hesitated in my response thinking about everything I still wanted to accomplish. Didn’t I think that I’d be farther along too?
He was genuinely surprised. From his perspective, I was “there.” I went to college, had a career, spent my summers traveling…what more could I want?
But here’s the thing…
No matter what we have and no matter where we are in life, we’re always going to want to reach for more. That’s human nature. We accomplish one goal, and then it’s right on to the next.
We tell ourselves this story, “I’ll be happy when….”
…I get married
…I have a career
…I climb the corporate ladder
…I have kids
…When I complete the checklist
But the truth is that when you get all of those things, you’re going to feel the same as you feel now.
Like I said, you reach one goal and then you set another. So you’ve got to learn how to be happy with what you have NOW.
You are enough just the way you are…even if you never accomplish another “thing.”
You are worthy of love and of all the good things. Your worth isn’t found in completing the checklist.
Keep reaching for more because you want to, because you want to grow as a person, because you like the challenges, but not because you’ll “be happy when.”
THERE IS NO DESTINATION.
There is no point where you stop and go, “Well, this is it! I’m here!” That is an illusion. We think it’s coming around the bend every time, but it never is.
The thrill doesn’t come from reaching the top of the mountain. That’s pretty cool, but like I said before, the real satisfaction is found in the climb.
Just like the thrill of life doesn’t come by reaching the end of it.
Make sure you enjoy the journey because that’s all there is.
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