What if I told you that the only constant occurrence in life is change?
I know … thats a hard concept to swallow but its true though, and this philosophy goes directly against what we were taught as children. We are all spoon-fed the idea that if we work hard, graduate college, and make smart decisions that we are set for life. But I have learned the hard way over the last few months that this isn’t a guarantee for a solid future in the slightest.
Unfortunately our generation is so consumed by “things”, and these materialistic items that we purchase allow us to put up this front that determines our identity. Our Louis Vuitton purses and Michael Kors watches show signs of superiority, success, and financial independence. For those who say that they just happen to like the style of these brands, I assure you that I can find an identical brown purse for less than 2,000 dollars.
I am not at all writing this article to knock high-end brands, (I work part-time as a fashion blogger myself). I am writing this article to ask generation-y if they would be willing to honestly consider what they value in life. And not only that, but what would you be willing to give up in order to live and breathe that honest and fulfilling lifestyle?
As previously described, I truly had to learn the hard way that the only constant thing in life is change, and in turn I was forced to reconsider what I found to be important in life. This list of values no longer includes how many likes I get on an Instagram post and how many people approve of my day to day decisions.
I learned that my greatest assets are my memories.
My deep soul searching over the last few weeks started here:
I witnessed both family members and myself be perfectly healthy one day and the next day waking up and having to make life-altering decisions.
Some days these experiences weigh heavier over my mind than others.
With so many negative instances coming my way in a row, I began to wonder is this what “adult life” (my 20’s) is going to be like, and if so, how do you make it through? I began to struggle with the idea of how to live a happy lifestyle with these life-changing occurrences weighing over my mind. This wasn’t the type of change like debating over trying a new hairstyle; This was the type of change that I knew was heading my way, yet I was not and probably will not ever be willing to accept it.
With this sort of fear weighing over my mind, I was no longer in a mindset where making life-long were at the forefront of my life and I wondered when I would find the courage to stand up for myself and make a positive life change.
With all of this accumulated stress, I came across the quote:
“Stress is caused by being here, but wanting to be there.” – Eckhart Tole
After reading this quote I tried to see if I could even somewhat relate this saying to my daily life and after some thinking I realized … “aren’t I always ‘there’ and not ‘here'”?
I mean, as generation-y, how often are we really ‘here’? (in the moment)
For example, if your out to lunch with a friend, are you really at that lunch, or is your mind on your ex-boyfriends latest Instagram post, wondering if that girl is just his friend or your latest replacement.
Between our easy access to technology, the brands that we are expected to buy, and the countless hours that we are expected to spend working in a cubicle, how often are you actually ‘here’?
Our generation lives so vicariously through celebrities and Instagram that by the time we escape our cubicle, complete our errands, and make dinner: what memories did we make? How did we make our day count? (because I learned the hard way that tomorrow is not promised)
Whenever I have a day full of “unwanted” activities, such as business and errands, I wonder, “will I regret this when I am retired?” “Could I have done anything differently today?”
Something that is so undervalued by the majority of our culture is having true lasting memories. Not just the kind that you sort of remember from your last EDC concert, but classic memories that you will have to hold onto for the rest of your life.
Even though I can’t promise you that you’ll be in the same health condition in ten years or that you’ll have the same friends in ten years, I can promise you that every memory that you choose to make from here on out is yours to keep. Its one of the very few things in life that no one can take away from you and one of the few things that no amount of money can buy.
I always catch myself saying “I can’t wait for that party” or “I can’t wait for that vacation” but my current goal is to stop saying these phrases and to think of how I can make an “ordinary” day rememberable.
Everybody knows someone who has an wrongly under- appreciated job, (cashier, garbage man, teacher, etc). But it takes a special person to not only walk into one of these jobs each day with a smile, but to walk into work with the goal of making a positive memory for someone else that day through their profession. It is these types of people that I admire; ones that have the ability to make ordinary days extraordinary days.
At the end of a long work-shift, when all of the girls strip off their makeup and all of the men take off their suits and ties, we all have the same life-long goal: to be happy.
And I truly believe that this begins with a conscious effort to form life-long memories not just on Fridays, but on a daily basis. It also beings with learning how to be ‘here’ and not ‘there’.
Our memories are our own personal scrapbook; our own personal documentation of the phases, struggles, and life-lessons that we go through. If there is anything that my medical situation has taught me, its that having a bad doctors appointment or receiving bad news does not make up my entire day. At most, it makes up one hour of my twenty-four hour day. The more I focus on living in the present, the more positive memories I can make, even in what may appear to be a negative situation.
No matter how “stuck” you my feel in any situation, never let anyone take away your ability to make at least one positive memory each day. After all, when everything is said and done, thats all you’ll have. So log out of your twitter account, take a break from snap chat, and actually go outside and try something that you never thought you would try before. Take an unexpected trip with friends, try a new exercise class, or pick up a new hobby.
Life’s too short to be unhappy, always remember that 😉