Something I frequently struggle with is being OK with where I am in life at that moment. Despite being grateful for all the things I have, I’m constantly making plans for the future, thinking about how life would be different if… or even feeling nostalgic about the past. Even more so at this time of the year. I think I put too much pressure on myself to “new year, new you” and to “crush my goals” and to “have the best year ever” and sometimes that can be overwhelming. Anyone else?
When I was a little kid, I pictured a very different 25-year-old girl. 25 seemed so far away. I would have my life figured out. I would be in a long-term relationship and maybe even married. I would be financially independent and passionate about my job. I would have my own apartment and a dog. Well, you get the picture. But guess what? How I thought my life should look like at 25 doesn’t quite match how it actually is right now. And that’s OK.
I think we all go through periods where we’re not 100% OK with where we are in life. Maybe, like me, you’re trying to move past the idea of how your life should look like at a certain time. Maybe you wish you were in a relationship or are not happy at your current job. Maybe you’re feeling stuck or unsettled. However, it’s important to remember that these are just periods of our life. Yes, they may last longer than we would have wanted but they’re temporary.
This too shall pass. That’s what I want to believe. I want to embrace my own life. I want to celebrate all that I have already achieved and appreciate the stage of life I’m in. I want to find contentment and that’s why I am choosing to be happy with who/where I am in life right now. Want to join me? Here’s what has been helping me learn how to be OK with where I am in life.
How To Be OK With Where You Are Right Now
Shift your perspective.
Way too often this sentence pops up in my mind: If _____, then I would be happy. If I was traveling the world, then I would be happy. If I had a boyfriend, then I would be happy. If I had my own place, then I would be happy. It’s OK to dream. However, it’s time to stop that negative self-talk. I’ve learned that you don’t achieve happiness by checking a goal off your to-do list as you will quickly move on to the next thing. You always want more.
Your happiness isn’t in the future and it’s not a good idea to place it in something/someone that’s not even here yet and might not ever be. Your happiness is in learning to appreciate the present moment. So, catch yourself next time the thought If _____, then I would be happy crosses your mind and shift your perspective. Focus on being present and on all the good things you already have in your life.
Yes, I might not have a boyfriend but I do have pretty damn cool parents!
Whenever I’m feeling bad about my current situation, I always try to practice gratitude. Gratitude is about taking time from your busy life to appreciate what you have. When you take the time to count your blessings, you realize that your life is actually full of things to be grateful for. Your mind is simply too clouded with ifs and whens to see it.
One thing to note is that feeling grateful isn’t enough. You actually have to make gratitude a daily practice. And while you’re at it, be specific. In addition to listing a few things you’re grateful for, think about the why.
I am grateful for my pretty damn cool parents. Why? Because they’re cool, kind, loving, and hard-working people who support me no matter what.
Make the most of every season.
When you’re not happy with the season of life you’re in, it can feel like it is dragging on an on and there’s no end at sight. But please, trust me. Every season comes to an end to make room for a new one. Remind yourself that this is temporary. Meanwhile, make the most of the season you’re in instead of waiting around until a new one comes.
For me, and back to the boyfriend example, this means making the most of my singleness. It’s understanding that I don’t need anyone to complete me. I am enough. It’s focusing on getting to know who I am and doing things for me.
What about you, how can you make the most of the season in life you’re in?
Being content means finding peace in where you are in life right now and enjoying where the present has you but it doesn’t mean you have to settle. If you’re not exactly where you would like to be right now, take action. Start with small, intentional goals that will take you where you want to be.
Let’s go with another example: by now, I wish I was financially independent and could afford moving out. Not a reality right now and won’t be for a long time if I don’t work on my spending habits and follow a savings plan. That’s what I started doing last year. Little by little, I’ll get there.
No one’s journey is the same as anyone else’s.
Maybe you’re rolling your eyes at me as in really, Joana?! Just found that out now?
Or maybe, like me, you needed this little reminder: no one’s journey is the same as anyone else’s. Comparison is a big element when it comes to being happy with where you are in life right now. Especially nowadays with social media, it’s so easy to compare and feel discontent because you’re not in the same stage of life as someone you follow.
However, when you understand your journey in life and appreciate your strengths, you often worry less about what others are doing. It’s important to realize that what works for someone else, may not work for you. Or that not being in the same stage of life as someone else doesn’t mean you have failed. We all go through life at different paces and that is OK.
You are exactly where you’re meant to be.
This is a hard one to accept, isn’t it? I feel like putting my foot down and saying No, I am certainly not. Deep down though, I know it’s true. Or at least I like to think that whatever I’m going through right now is exactly where I’m meant to be. That every season of life teaches you a lesson and makes you grow stronger.
Do you struggle with being OK with where you are in life right now? If so, how do you deal with it?