Urgency Is Cheap

Gratitude

By Fadila Henry

We love the internet. We love it for all the wonderfully entertaining information it provides us, the essays of personal experiences that inspire and give us courage, and all the lovely, funny people we’ve met from across the world because of it. But let’s face it, the internet is also a maelstrom of conflicting and confusing advice, one day replete with articles that implore us to leave our jobs and go after our dreams, the next day, those articles are replaced with guidance and tips on how to love the jobs and lives we already have. Just when we feel settled and okay with where we are in our lives, we are told we’re doing it all wrong. It is relentless and it is exhausting.

We’re currently living in the time of instant gratification. Everything is happening rapidly and because there are so many people who have had instant success or become popular overnight, it creates a sense of urgency in all of us, even those of us who know better.  We read an article about someone ten years younger who left her job and now travels the world, incurring money and a staggering 85K followers on social media and we just can’t help but look at our diminishing bank balance, the mountain of debt, the half-finished projects we haven’t gotten around to completing, and wonder where it went wrong. But the reality is this, it hasn’t gone wrong. The reality is we, us, the majority, are experiencing the real, real life. We have dreams, but we also have bills, dependents, responsibilities, incomplete studies, and personal issues that don’t allow us to pack it all up and run off into the sunset after dreams. That doesn’t make us any less ambitious or hopeful. That doesn’t make our dreams less attainable. It simply means that we may have to work harder and wait longer. Is that really such a bad thing?

Don’t get me wrong, I love inspiring and positive posts. They serve as a boost of encouragement during a particularly low moment or day when everything isn’t going according to plan. But when there’s a constant barrage of them making us feel like we are missing out, leading to feelings of inadequacy because we don’t have a dream life, that’s where it begins to create serious and unwarranted anxiety.

When did having patience become so unappealing? If there’s a person still struggling and working to achieve the dream she set out five years ago to accomplish, should we pity her rather than be impressed? It takes guts and gumption to pursue the calling in our hearts, the yearning for the things we want most, to wake up each day and keep going, no matter how long it takes. There is much to be discovered and learned along the way. To be patient is an act of benevolence to ourselves and we deserve it.

It isn’t shameful to struggle. There’s nothing wrong with having a life that is less than picture perfect, or having people in your life who depend upon you. Our backgrounds and situations vary. We’ve each faced challenges and hardships, and the fact that we can overcome them without allowing the bad days to kill our hopes and dreams is a feat in and of itself.

And then to still hustle in the midst of our struggles to achieve our goals? Phenomenal. We need to give ourselves more credit, more time, more slack. Everything doesn’t need to be attained by age 30. Everything doesn’t need to be happening right this minute. It all unfurls according to when it’s supposed to, according to our specific journeys and lessons.

Real life isn’t always flowery and exciting. Often, it’s filled with mundane and ridiculous experiences and conversations. We find ourselves consumed by fear and worry. In the midst of our ordinary days, we can find contentment through gratitude for our lives as they are right now.

Fadila is part of the Contributing Writer Network here at Thirty On Tap. Apply to become a Contributing Writer HERE

{featured image via pexels}

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