So… I’ve been in a slump recently.

Forget that I haven’t been sleeping and the fact that I’ve been waking up with back and chest pains. The important thing is that I’ve been in this emotionally low place while also feeling extremely restless at the same time. The restlessness that I’m feeling isn’t anything new, especially not to folks around my age. For some reason, the millennial generation is known for having a hunger for fulfillment in life. We’re characterized by the way we prioritize and chase our happiness instead of the things that our parents found much more reasonable to invest time into pursuing.

I’m currently at the point in my life where I’m trying to figure out what matters. I want to know what it is that I find valuable enough to pursue and invest time into. More importantly, I’m trying to find the proper route to these things with little to no resistance. Anyone who has lived one day on this planet knows that the best things in life come with a some turbulence during the flight, so I know I’m going to find myself disappointed and stressed and lots of other uncomfortable, emotional things as long as I try to find my way towards what makes me happy. Happiness is relative, though. After all, I have so many family members and friends who tell me that I should be happy. They’re right, to an extent. I’m in a great place right now for a freshly 22-year old human.

For my own sake, here are some of the things I should be grateful for:

I’ve got a job and can support myself financially while living alone. I graduated with a college degree in a field that I actually felt like I belonged in. I got a job despite the odds of someone in my major finding a job so quickly. I live in a city that I’m familiar with, one that I have friends in, and that my parents only live an hour away from. I have a great significant other. A job that allows me to experience unique things, make friends, take part in art installations that are significant to me, and bring my city together. I have a great relationship with all of the people at my job. I’m healthy. I can provide myself with a fridge full of groceries. I’ve got a car that gets me to and fro. I have a supportive group of friends and family. And I’m still young.

Gratitude is something that I don’t practice often enough because I just don’t know where it belongs in the spectrum of satisfaction to dissatisfaction with life. Some days I think it’s either one or the other. I don’t see myself as someone who is ungrateful, I just like to push myself towards my goals. Who doesn’t? After I cross one thing off of my list, the wheels in my brain start to turn on how to reach my next goal. I’m ambitious. In my opinion, ambitious and ungrateful are not the same thing.

I don’t think that gratitude is about settling down just because there are things in your life that are going well, but I find myself pushing towards these goals I have in my head when I don’t have the time or space to make them happen yet. Perhaps patience is what helps make room for gratitude. If change happened at a constant and instantaneous rate, life would be a short lived journey. There would be nothing to enjoy over time. There wouldn’t be opportunities to go back and revisit something you loved or enjoyed. There probably wouldn’t be much time at all. So I guess I should be thankful to have that, at the very least.

I have time to pursue my goals. I have time to settle down. I have time to be satisfied with the life I’ve worked hard to fulfill. I’m going to be just fine. For what it’s worth, I am proud of what I’ve done so far.

Perhaps I should say it to myself more often.

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