When I was younger, I thought quite a lot about how much “better” life would be when I was older. I seemed to believe, as many of us do, that the freedom to make your own decisions is the equivalent of being happy. It was only once I started going through life’s big milestones that I realized it is very easy to get caught up in how much better the “future’ will be, and completely lose the magnitude and joy of the “now”.
That brings me to this week’s quote. You will often here me quote people that inspire me, motivate me, or simply make me laugh. One of my favorites from Amy Poehler is “You have to be where you are to get where you need to go.”
When I graduated high school, I was already looking to the next step. I wanted to go to college.When I graduated college, or really even before then, I was thinking about getting my first job. When I got my first job, in my chosen field, I was already thinking about how much more experience I needed and how I wish I could skip the first year and not be so “new” anymore. The point I’m getting at is, it is very easy to look toward the future and completely forgetting about enjoying the moment.
Now don’t get me wrong, it is vital and incredible to have goals (future blog post), but there is a difference in having goals and always believing you have to wait for the better thing around the corner to truly be happy. When you are doubting yourself, comparing yourself to others, and are just generally stressed, you build fantasies in your head about how everything will be better once everything is perfect and you’ve got everything figured out; the secret is, NO ONE ever gets to that point.
We live in a world where people are constantly posting their amazing lives on social media, but are rarely being honest about the hard work and struggles that go along with it. We make ourselves believe that we have to get to the point they are at to be successful. The truth is, every chapter of your life holds an important experience, story, and lesson. It may be a cliché to say “Stop and smell the roses”, but it really is a true sentiment. If I hadn’t stopped to enjoy the little things of the moment, like having dinner with a friend or going to the movies, I would’ve never met my husband. If I hadn’t slowed down to really take in and experience my first year of teaching, I never would have learned invaluable lessons that have made me the educator I am today.
While you’re on the way to reaching your future goals and planning ahead, please do not forget to embrace the beautiful moment that you’re in. Carry with you the realization that every single step we take, and every experience we have, leads us to exactly where we need to be. The journey is often the best part.