I don’t know if it was finally being able to catch my breath after Christmas and all of the holiday parties, or the quiet, rainy Sunday that followed, but I found myself in a pensive mood yesterday; a nagging something in the back of my mind that refused to fully let me realize my aggressive goal of doing nothing.
I’m 29, and while my body is beginning to gently (sometimes) let me know I can’t be as hard on it as I used to, for the majority of the time I still am under the guise that life will never really change, and that I’ll never really get old. But I know, and you do too, that this isn’t the way the world works. Ironically enough, even pop culture reminds us of this truth. Turn on top 40 radio and at any given time you’re reminded that “tonight won’t last forever” or that your youth is fleeting so live it up. Granted this is usually to get you out on the dance floor or to have that last drink or to get that girl’s/guy’s number (not necessarily bad ideas), but these things are typically short-lived. Do they matter long-term?
I slightly blame Office Space being on, because while being brilliant and hilarious it does subtly ask the question “What’s really important here?”. Is it having a significant other? Is it where you live, or what you drive? Is it your vocation, or what you get from your job? Surely the list here is endless; do you know what is most important to you?
Different people answer tough questions differently. My mental processing power seems to increase about three-fold just before a nap. My thinking bed if you will. It just so happens that it’s also my sleeping bed, avoiding waking up for work bed, and my reading books-bed; a generally happy place. So off I went, to tackle this ever-so-slightly bothersome thing in my mind. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to listen to what’s going on this inside. Some call it your ‘gut’, others your conscience, maybe others something else, but I’ve found it’s usually a pretty good compass in navigating the internal waters of emotion.
For a moment, I was able to pause long enough to put down the subconscious striving, things I needed to do, and negative thinking. Sometimes, it can be surprising how far away you are from a sincere, truthful assessment of yourself. I don’t have a list of things that you should hold dear, or what types of goals you should be setting. Those things have their time and place. I think for now, what may be more important is learning for yourself how you can get into the mindset of answering the question, whatever it may be, clearly. For me, depending on how crazy life is or how long I’ve had a gutcheck, I might have to go to a quiet place and work through some of the internal noise. Asking the advice of a trusted friend or mentor can be a great option as well. If you can handle it, honest friends can be like a mirror, helping you to see some things you may not have wanted to, but needed to see.
In the end, I was able to find out what it was that had been bothering me, and deal with it. To be the type of people we all want to be, these moments are crucial to how we live our lives. That is how great legacies are established. Don’t ever feel like it is too late to start being honest with yourself, and it doesn’t mean you end up suffering in silence while you’re trying to figure things out. We all hit roadblocks in life and need the helping hands of friends and family to get us out of them. I’ve had absolute strangers show me more about myself in a few minutes than acquaintances I’ve had have done in years. But it takes being open to listening, and being honest.
Best thing is, this isn’t another New Years Resolution for you to feel about not completing. I have a good feeling though, that if you try putting this into practice, if and when you do make one, it’ll be something you’re passionate about and have the energy to attain.
Happy New Years!