The holidays are my favorite, and least favorite time of the year for a lot of reasons. While life changes, in some ways it stays the same. They’re my favorite because I get to come home from college and eat my mom’s home cooked meals, visit with friends from high school that I haven’t seen in awhile, and read for pleasure instead of for class. I love hot tea and fuzzy socks, watching the snow fall from outside my bedroom window when it starts to get cold. I love getting to hear my father’s laugh in the next room, give my sister hugs instead of goodbye waves over FaceTime, and bake cookies. I feel fortunate to have what I have, and I wouldn’t trade those blessings for the world.
I’ve always been a little bit insecure, so I’ve always struggled to accept the highs along with the lows.
But what I struggle with this time of the year is the same thing I do every year: the fear that I am not living my life to the best of my ability. I’ve always been a little bit insecure, and so I’ve always struggled to accept the highs of my life along with the lows. And while I hold myself to high standards, it’s scary to think that I’m not meeting those standards, or I’m not growing/changing fast enough.
The other day I visited my best friend’s family, and her mother asked me about college. I told her some stories, about my grades, and how things had been going, and she asked me how I was doing. I told her about my fear, that despite how grateful I am for the life I have, I worry that I’m not doing enough, or that I should be doing better.
This launched an interesting conversation about confidence, friendship, and life in general. These kinds of conversations with her I value the most – but one thing she said stuck out to me more than anything else. She said, “You’re okay. You’re where you’re supposed to be, and when you’re no longer supposed to be there, you will be somewhere else.”
This really resonated with me, because I never thought about it being as simple as that. That it could be so easy as to accept where you are, without fear that where you are isn’t good enough. I’m someone who tends to overthink and overcomplicate things, so hearing my fear could be simplified in such a way was calming to me. And it made me realize a few things that I didn’t consider before:
Comparison is dangerous
We’ve all heard that before, but it’s hard to accept that truth at face value. Whether it’s comparing your social life, family life, grades, or accomplishments, comparison is unhealthy in so many ways. You’re never going to have somebody else’s life, because the life you’ve been given is beautiful.
Living on a timeline is not a real way to live
It’s easy to create this idea in your head of what your life should be, how it should progress, and where you should be at any given time, but life is all the stuff that happens in between. It’s okay if you didn’t get the job you thought you would, or the grade you expected. You will always find your way to the place you belong.
You’re never going to have somebody else’s life, because the life you’ve been given is beautiful.
The best way to combat those fears of not living the way you should live, is to live the way you want to live. Listen to the music that plays inside your heart, and don’t be afraid to sing along! What works for someone else might not work for you, and it might not be the path you’re supposed to go down.
As life changes, so do the people in it
The people you have in your life now, might not be the people you have in your life years from now. The people you had in your life years ago, might not be the people you’ll have in your life ever again. Take the losses as they come, and realize that sometimes they aren’t losses – and people will always float in and out of your life. This doesn’t make you a bad friend, or a bad person.
Life changes along with the seasons
So if the holidays have you a little reflective, confused, or even curious, I hope some holiday wisdom pairs well with the holiday cheer. Take a deep breath, look around, and enjoy the moment, because this moment is beautiful, and this moment matters.