I never knew what it meant to “live your life today,” until after I had reached a point where it was impossible for me to see beyond one day. It forced me to just live each day one at a time. I still planned for tomorrow, still planned for the future but there was a new sense of knowing that tomorrow was not promised. My mother and a friend of mine when I was younger tried so hard to drive this point home to me because each of them had lost so much and seen so much in their life that this was the way that they lived their lives.
I was asked this question by a friend, “how do you remain positive about your current situation when you know there is something better around the corner?” I have always been guilty of wondering so much about what was around the corner that I missed what was in front of me. It was always the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and I never appreciated how green my grass actually was.
I think what I have done over the years is to find something amazing about every day, and some days the only amazing thing that has happened to me is that I woke up in the morning. Work probably sucked, I am completely exhausted, probably couldn’t sleep the night before, but I woke up. It sounds cheesy and cliche but it is that simple. An older gentleman broke it down like this, each day you wake up is an opportunity to live your life. You don’t have to make a grand big gesture or have something major happen to you for you to think that your life is progressing.
When I paid so much attention to the future, and what I wanted my life to be like I missed what life really was. Although I spent a lot of time with my mother, and I have great memories I always think about how many more memories we would have had if I had spent more time focused on the real things, and not situations that I could not change, or control. It is not easy to be this way nor is it easy to change your way of thinking because what has happened to us over time is that we have been conditioned by society through multimedia about how our life should be at a certain point of our lives.
I am going to be twenty-nine this year. First off, let’s talk about how quickly time has passed. When I was younger maybe about ten or eleven my entire life was planned out by the time I was twenty-four. I would have already graduated from college, I would meet someone shortly after starting my first big girl job and be married, pregnant and barefoot by age twenty-four. That was the number in my mind, for whatever reason that is what I wanted. However, flash forward to my twenty-fourth birthday. Where I had been dumped by this point twice, I up and quit my job without another job lined up, I was still living at home with my mother, brother and sister. Not exactly this successful person I thought I would be. Then a year later everything changed when my mother passed away shortly before my twenty-sixth birthday so go figure.
Thoughts and plans for marriage, career, and starting children moved from close future to distant future. I am nearing my birthday now getting a year closer to thirty and I am not feeling the pressure like my friends and peers are. The only thing I am feeling is to live my life, no matter what happens I am going to have fun, I am going to be happy. One day I am sure those things will happen, maybe they won’t but I don’t want to waste precious time concerning myself with things that I cannot control. I cannot make these things happen by doing anything differently, because working on me, making sure that I am whole and happy with being me. I always used to think that I could make things happen if I did this or that. If I fashioned myself to be a certain way or a certain person maybe this will happen. My only concern now is where I want to travel each year, spending more time with friends and just showing them that I care and that I am there for them. Treating people good, and just being a light when a lot of people experience darkness because a lot of people have been that way for me.
My best advice would be to just live your life. Forget the expectations, my only expectation these days is to just live my life for today.
My mother used to say that to me all the time among other things but when it comes to this topic this is the thing that sticks out to me most. Just live your life today.