Do you ever find yourself waiting for the perfect time to start something? Or even the perfect time to be happy? It’s fairly common to think things like “oh, I’ll be happy once I have that new job”, or “I’ll go for a run once the weather is nice”, or “I’ll start losing weight once this stressful week is over”. The thing is, once that new job comes, you’ll likely find something else that you feel prevents you from being happy. Or the weather stays rainy for a couple weeks and the next time it’s sunny, you forget about your run. Or it turns out that next week is stressful as well. There is no such thing as the “perfect time”. Life is busy, it’s stressful, the weather is shit, you’re tired, you don’t feel like it, something about your situation is making you sad or angry or exhausted.
If you’ve been reading these posts thinking about how you’ll implement what you’ve learned in the summer, or when you have the time, or after you graduate, you’re just procrastinating. Own up to it. This is why I’m not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions. They have their place, but there is no reason to wait until one specific and frankly arbitrary day to make some big change in life. Start now. Start small, but start now. I’m sure you’ve lived enough life to know that the perfect time never comes. If I only went to the gym on days that I was feeling cute, had tons of energy and time, and didn’t struggle to wake up that morning, I’d go about once a month. Discipline means pushing through even if you feel the current situation isn’t ideal, because it will never be ideal.
Don’t wait to let yourself be happy. Learning to be happy, to love your life, and to create a life that you are excited to live is a process. It takes time. Waiting to start that process is only hurting yourself. If you feel you are unhappy right now because your job is terrible, I understand. I hate my 9-5 job, I hate going to work every day, I hate the stress it brings me, I hate everything about it. And that’s okay. It is okay for things in your life to bring you unhappiness. Recognize it, and admit that you are unhappy with aspects of your life. This is the first step toward changing something.
More importantly, after acknowledging that something is making you unhappy, list all of the things that do bring you joy. My boyfriend brings me joy, my apartment brings me joy, cooking brings me joy, drinking tea brings me joy. Actively choose to make these the focus of your life. If you’re able to focus on the things that do make you happy, while working to change the things that don’t, you can bring yourself happiness today, without waiting for things to be “perfect”.
Things will never be perfect. Perfect is intangible and undefinable. You have to choose to be happy, rather than waiting for happiness to come to you through a “perfect” life or “perfect” situation. This won’t happen overnight, but realizing that you control your own happiness is the first step toward becoming happy. Waiting for the perfect time to be happy or to make a change is giving up your control and your power over your own life, rather than living intentionally and creating a life you are excited to live. Take ownership of your life, rather than letting it control you.