Sitting in my college apartment with its beige carpet and darker beige stains, its empty fridge and the never silent neighbors always made me dream of the future.
I’d have wooden floors; none of this carpet nonsense. I would obviously have french doors that opened up onto a covered balcony where I could get a sense of quiet in the middle of whatever bustling city I landed in. I’d either have a yellow or a blue tea kettle, but then again maybe red—suddenly I’d hear a loud singing coming from downstairs or the ever-constant blooping of the one neighbor who played Civilization on his XBox way too loud.
And I’d be back in my overpriced apartment that was both too cramped and too large, as its bare walls attested to the fact that I couldn’t even afford to decorate or make it homey, but I also didn’t have the space I wanted.
When I was younger, I used to think that life would get better after college. Or once I was married. Or once I had a big girl job. If only I could skip to this weekend, or next month or a couple years from now, things would be better.
Now I see that's not the case at all.
I found myself wishing for the week to be over, or the month or the year, and I've realized that I'm wishing my life away. I have a finite amount of time on this planet, and I'm actually wishing for less?
Sure, my apartment back then was pretty awful and I’ve had jobs that made me consider an impromptu road trip during every morning commute, but I had things I loved.
And I had that blue tea kettle.
Instead of praying for a job offer, I could have squeezed every ounce of potential out of that stint in my life. Learn new skills? Yes please. Take on harder projects? Check. Training or workshops? Sign me up.
Instead of my apartment being a reminder of where I was in life, I should have taken it as an opportunity to rise to the occasion. I don’t have money to decorate? Alright, I guess it’s time to tackle an art project or learn how to secondhand shop like a pro.
It was like I was sitting there, holding a slightly bruised apple and saying “Yeah, I’ll pass on this and just wait until I get a perfect one.”
There will never be that perfect, shiny red (or green, no judgement) apple that is everything you want it to be, but it will have good parts.
The future only looks so pristine because it never actually arrives. You have right now, bruises and all.
I know my wishing for the future is probably me trying to avoid the hardships and struggles everyone goes through, but if I don't experience them, do I not grow?
And that’s what this is about. Life is about growing into who and what you want to be.
So I shouldn’t push off work until tomorrow, dreaming that “I’ll be fit one day,” “I’ll be able to speak Spanish someday,” “I’ll have a place to call my own someday,” or whatever else.
You don’t have someday; you have today — and you only have right now.
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