“I have done my best. That is all the philosophy of living one needs” ~Lin-yutang
Take a break and take a look in the mirror. Look at yourself and smile while you congratulate yourself for everything you have been through, good or bad, ups and downs.
It doesn’t matter whether you climbed Mount Everest, learned French in Paris, completed medical school, worked at the local grocery store, or “simply” lay on the sofa for far longer than you had planned in order to figure out your life’s purpose and goals.
The main point is that everything that you have been through has made you the person you are today. And that calls for a celebration now and then.
Whatever your age, you have everything right in front of your feet, or even better. You have now.
Right now you can acknowledge the life you have been living up to this point and you can do whatever you want with the rest of your time here on earth. It is never too late to grow, change, and evolve.
When I was nineteen years old and fresh out of high school, the travel bug took a great bite of me. I really felt the world was mine to explore and I wanted to experience everything and everyone for as long as I could.
I lived in a suitcase for a great deal of my early to mid-twenties, only to have settled down somewhat close to my hometown at age twenty-eight.
My friends that stayed home, more or less, grew up and matured in a different way than me, building a life with everything that involves the standard safe adulthood—IKEA-family card, condos, education, retirement plans, insurances, the best baby strollers, etc.
Within the last year almost all of my best friends became pregnant.
I cried when I found out, not because I wasn’t happy for them but because I found myself belittling myself for where I was in life—no fancy degree, a small studio and with a part-time job that wasn’t going to cover a year-long awesome Swedish maternity leave. (Not that it really made a difference, considering I wasn’t even dating anyone.)
Being in my late twenties, going into my thirties soon, I had to really sit down in stillness to find some kind of reassurance that it’s okay to follow your heart and your own dreams, big or small.
Growing up in one of the biggest socialist countries on our planet, society may have built up a guide for us on how to co-exist and live our adult life with a husband/wife, dog, car, duplex, and, of course, the best baby stroller for your newborn.
Writing this, I’m sitting on my bed/sofa (there simply isn’t enough space for both in my small studio) pondering the Tiny Buddha quoted by a very wise unknown person:
“Excellence can be obtained if you care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, expect more than others think is possible.”
It’s no news that life comes without guarantees or warranties. My traveling years may have cost me a bigger savings account and my days spent on philosophizing may have cost me time to become a responsible adult faster.
Although society may have built a guideline for us, life hasn’t. It just has to be lived and experienced each and every day.
So while you’re at living the life you choose, don’t forget to applaud your accomplishments. Be proud, even though they may seem insignificant to others.
You don’t have to go swimming with great white sharks in South Africa to be a brave person. All kinds of challenges in life make us stronger, braver, and wiser.
Remember that your struggles are just as beautiful as your success.