By: Maxwell Bruns ~Advertising Manager~
A great professor of mine once said, “Life isn’t much, but it’s the only thing to do.” This is an admittedly bleak conception of what it means to embrace life, but it raises a critical point. Life is the only thing to do, so while I am alive in each moment, I’d do well to stop putting it off.
Many people grow up with a moderate amount of struggles, either personal or circumstanced-related or both. They get through that struggle and graduate high school. Some go to college, others get a job right away, but everyone eventually ends up in the workforce. This happens sometime in their twenties. While going through this process, many people meet someone, marry them and have children. Some people do this as soon as they get to college, others in their forties, but eventually most end up with a spouse and sometimes children. Other things that may happen during this period are the acquisition of a house or living space.
Growing up with some difficulty, going to school up to a certain point, getting married or finding a partner, having children or not, getting a house and working…that’s about it. There are vacations, concerts, one night stands and that one time you smoked weed spattered in there. There are drunken nights and crazy road trips. There’s the occasional once-in-a-lifetime experience like skydiving or bungee jumping. At the end of it all, there’s some version of a family, a house, a job and a 401k. But throughout it all, there’s a lot of stuff you put off. And as a result, you never did it.
While you were in college, you told yourself that you were going to learn Spanish. Every weekend, you sat down on your couch, grabbed your Spanish language dictionary…and your roommate walked in asking to play video games. You told yourself, “Spanish can wait until next weekend.” Now, you are 40 and still only speak English.
While you were applying to colleges, your friend was planning an epic two-year trip to Guatemala to teach children English. He asked you to go, but you were applying for colleges so you told him that Guatemala could wait. You went to college and ended up getting a sweet internship every summer that never let you take a vacation longer than two weeks. Now, you are 70 and have never left the continental United States.
After you graduated college, your friend asked you to be her roommate in Orlando for six months. You didn’t have a job, but you couldn’t find one in Orlando in your field and would rather have gotten experience, so you told her no. Now, you have lived your whole life 15 blocks from your childhood home. So many of us spend our time doing what we think we’re supposed to do that we wait on the things we want to do. We don’t learn Spanish or we don’t go to Guatemala, and we don’t start a business or write a novel or go for cross-country bike rides. We wait, and then we end up never actually doing.
I am telling you now, as someone who often goes to the opposite extreme and continually risks any possibility for a steady and healthy lifestyle for crazy and spontaneous opportunities, GO FOR THEM. Not all of them require you to significantly alter your course of life. If you want to learn Spanish, throw your television away and get to learning. If you want to go to Guatemala, get those vacation days. If you want to live in a different place, ask for a transfer at work. Don’t tell yourself that there will always be tomorrow for any of these opportunities. You’ll tell yourself the same thing every day until the door of opportunity closes.