Life is never quite what we expect it to be. In most areas, it’s far less than what we anticipated. When I became an adult, I imagined myself having a beautiful house, nice car, and fancy furnishings. I figured since my parents had all those things, it was only natural that I’d have them too. I didn’t realize how much work, and even character building, went into attaining them.
As young adults, we tend to get in a rut of being dissatisfied with everything. We don’t have our career yet, we don’t know if our car is going to get us from point A to point B, and we have a teeny tiny apartment. We’re drowning in debt, and doing everything we can to not sink deeper. Looking at some of our peers that seem to be light-years ahead of us, and people in their 30’s that somehow made it all work, it’s so easy to get discouraged.
Life is never perfect, but we always have the opportunity to embrace what we do have and make the most of the journey.
I’ve worked my fair share of odd jobs – ranging from coffee shops, to a hotel front desk, to office jobs – but none have really been enough to propel me to that upper level of living. It’s been just enough to pay the bills and have a little fun money on the side. I’ve had reliable cars and lemons that refuse to keep running. But through all the stress, changes, and new experiences, I’ve learned that it’s not the money that brings joy. It’s finding contentment in the things you already possess. Yes, it’s a cliché, but don’t let that stop you from learning the truths of it.
We currently rent in a small community of town houses, and an example I’d like to use is the balcony we have off of our upstairs office. At first glance, it’s itty-bitty and has a less than desirable view – looking out to a busy street. It can just barely hold two chairs. It’s noisy and a little cramped. People in our neighborhood have told me that they don’t really use their balcony because of these reasons.
But look a little closer…
It’s walled-in on three sides, making it a safe, private place. It doesn’t look into anyone’s back yard or windows. We get the beautiful morning sun in the summer, and it’s cool in the afternoons and evenings. It has a roof so we can sit out and enjoy the rain. I added a cute little flower box to the railing so I can grow some of my favorite flowers. And the best part of it all, my husband built me an L-shaped balcony couch, to which I added comfy cushions and pillows. Now, it’s a safe haven for me during the summer. I love every bit of it, and I am even thankful for the things that first repelled me.
I say all this to encourage you to look at your life, and make what you have into something you love. Start seeing things through eyes of thankfulness, eyes that see opportunity. Begin to dwell in possibility. Your career is going to come, and someday you’ll have the car that doesn’t break down and the house that’s only yours, but use this time to appreciate the little things that make life so rich. Don’t be in a hurry to have it all. Learning to live with less, and appreciate what you have, can be more fulfilling that starting out with everything.