I don’t think there is anything more frustrating in the entire world than the “grass-is-always-greener” mindset.
Trust me, I would love to sit here and spin a tale of how I live in the moment, soak up every second, and plant my two feet on the ground with a smile saying, “I am here.” But it would be just that—spinning a tale.
Propped up in bed, with the laptop warming my legs, I could be catching up on episodes of Stranger Things that I still haven’t watched. Or I could be reading the new book I rented from the library. Or even completing the free yoga class my friend sent me. You know, things I enjoy.
What do I do, night after night, instead?
I scroll through Indeed, LinkedIn, and ZipRecruiter for jobs I know I am unqualified for and am not in any position to accept right now. I scroll, type, and verify my email address until my eyes cross. Feverishly, I make my way further and further down into the rabbit hole until I finally look up from my computer and the sun has set.
It is my worst habit.
Like “treating” yourself to greasy fast food—it may seem like a nice little treat at the beginning, but by the end, you feel like shit. And up to your eyeballs in self-loathing.
Why do I do this to myself?
It’s a question I cannot seem to answer.
Why do I waste valuable free time making myself feel bad about all the jobs I don’t have or am unqualified for?
I have been doing this for as long as I can remember. And I know exactly what it stems from: peering over the fence and wanting any other lawn than my own.
And I am sick of it.
I want to howl like a feral cat and throw my laptop into the street because of how irritated I am at my ridiculous habit. It makes me feel like shit about myself (and makes my eyeballs hurt!)
I have been slammed by the grass-is-always-greener mindset. Discarding my own life and all my own triumphs as if they’re used napkins, tossing it over my shoulder with no more than a moment of acknowledgment.
I have a feeling I’m not alone in this, though. And I think a significant cause of these awful, irritating feelings is a lack of satisfaction in ourselves.
We fail to remind ourselves how proud we are, how hard we work, and how much we have done. The self-love and praise often fall to the wayside, and we are left disciplining ourselves as though we are naughty children who laid on the couch all day and forgot to feed the dog.
What the hell is that?! Why is it barely an afterthought to be proud of ourselves? To be accepting of where we are in this moment?
It breaks my heart knowing that I dismiss my current life, constantly searching for something better.
And that is hurtful. It’s hurtful to treat my current life like it isn’t good enough, or won’t begin or matter until I do something “real.”
I have this Sunday off, and I am making a promise to myself: I will not waste hours searching for jobs I am not ready for. I will not waste time searching for how to make money; time that could be spent reading or going for a walk with my mom. And I will not entertain thoughts like, “I will be a failure forever” or “Oh my god, how are you going to live?”
No! I’m going to read the new book I got, take my dog on a walk, write in the park, and go kayaking with my sister.
Because you know what? One day, I may not be able to go to the library every week. One day, my dog won’t be around for me to scratch his head. One day, I won’t have time to drive to a park and write whenever I please. One day, my sister and I won’t see each other much.
“Gentle” is a word we need to start applying to how we treat ourselves.
The fact about life is that good or bad, nothing lasts forever. Being a human is hard enough without the added stress of trying to plan a future for someone who doesn’t exist yet. We change so much in a month—think about how much we change in a year, five years, ten years.
You are not doing anything wrong by not having your whole life set up for you. In reality, you’ll probably never have your whole life set up for you unless you’re a magician or a time traveler.
Life is fluid, as ever-changing as the tide of the ocean. We are here in this moment, and that is all we can control. Opportunities will come at you from different directions. You don’t have to barter the moments you have now searching for future moments; that is not how life works.
One day, your future will be here. Until then, be here now.
Let yourself be content.
You are here, and that is magical in itself.