I need a haircut in a bad way. My floors need mopping and I need to backup the photos on my phone. I need to write more blog posts and go on a few more runs around the neighborhood.
Perfection is something I’ll never achieve, but as I scroll through my social media apps, you’d think that I needed to strive for every aspect of my life to be polished and conventionally successful.
Scott and I are in this inbetween phase of life right now that has me curiously wondering about my path. Since we’ll only be in Little Rock for five months, I’m not actively looking for a full time job. And I’m not even close to sure if I’ll work in Germany. Will we have a baby soon or is that further down the road for us? I’m still doing work I enjoy, which I’m beyond thankful for in the craziness that is military life where employment is anything but guaranteed. But I constantly wonder if I’m measuring up.
Which today, as I was driving to my favorite new coffee shop, made me tilt my head in thought.
Who am I measuring up to? Whose standard am I trying to meet?
Because if this internal struggle stems from external voices and some imaginary idea of where I should be or what I should be doing–then that’s bullshit.
The only person’s goals I need to fulfill are my own. And I’m beginning to realize that they don’t have to be big ones when the timing’s not right.
I wrote (what I considered) some pretty kickass marketing copy this week. I actually unpacked my suitcase within 24 hours after a weekend trip. I’ve gone to the grocery store and bought leafy greens–and eaten them. I carved out 20 minutes to do a face mask, and I’ve even been the first one to send a text to check in on my friends. The love of my life held me close on Saturday as we danced late into the night. My fluffy dog greets me every morning with a cold nose and then my husband kisses me goodbye. In a few short months, the three of us will live in a foreign country and fulfill yet another wish I’ve held in my heart for so long. When I pin European travel ideas, I get a thrill knowing they’ll be delightfully feasible. I get to write this very post as I drink pink lemonade out of a mason jar at a coffee shop so cute it actually hurts.
And when I add up all these little things and a thousand more, life seems pretty damn good. It seems like a life I’d have wished for as a little girl. The details are fuzzier and my career still doesn’t make perfect sense–just as it never did when I was seven or seventeen. But that’s okay for now. I don’t have to have every single thing figured out to be deliriously happy. Yes, there are bad days along the way, even downright shitty ones. But the good always, always outweighs the bad.
Of course, I always want to have aspirations and continue fulfilling the dreams of my life.
But that’s just it–they are my dreams and no one else’s. Not my friends’ or family’s dreams and definitely not some stranger’s on Instagram. And I’ll reach them in my own timing, using my own unique skills and grit and heart, with a little fire thrown in for good measure.
All this to say, I think I’ve got to start counting all the things I love, the things I’m really fucking good at. The things that make me laugh until I can’t breathe. Even the hard times that make me appreciate the best ones. The small moments where I check something off my to-do list in the quiet of my office. It’s time to celebrate the details. I want to hear the proverbial clink of champagne glasses a little more often.
I don’t have a standard, clear-cut path these days. No one hands me awards for straight As anymore or grants me a big promotion. So I have to celebrate the tiny, in-between seconds as time rolls along.
In the end, when I’m old and gray, I know the simple moments are the ones I’ll want to remember anyway.