When we’re young, so much of our lives revolves around the quantitative, rather than the qualitative. As a teenager, I was convinced that a good life consisted of lots of money and all of the things that come with it — a Ryan Gosling look-a-like of a husband, a black Range Rover, a big house in an exotic locale.
But now, as I get older, my wants have simplified. The material things are still cool. I mean, who doesn’t love a new purse? But today, the things I now find to be the most important don’t have price tags — they’re people, they’re moments, and they’re priceless.
Now, a good life means afternoons spent with my grandparents. It means cooking alongside my grandmother, learning not only her recipes and how to be a better cook, but how to be a better woman. Today, a good life means driving 45 minutes into town with my grandpa just to get the mail, listening to stories that have never been written down, only told to grandchildren on warm, sunny summer days. Learning where I came from, in the hopes of better understanding where it is I’m going.
Today, a good life means spending a night in with my parents, in the calm yet ever chaotic place I call home. Getting to know the people who raised me not just as parents, but as people. Appreciating the sacrifices that they have made, and continue to make, every single day. Realizing exactly how lucky I am, and being motivated to make the most of all the opportunities that I’ve been afforded.
Today, a good life means making stupid mistakes, drinking just one more Vodka Cran, flirting with boys in pastel shorts (red flag), and ordering pizza at 3 a.m. Not always our best moments, but they sure will make for good stories someday. Today, a good life means lazy Saturday mornings watching news clips and drinking a good cup of coffee with someone who makes my soul happy.
Someday, a good life might mean marriage to man of my dreams. And if that day does come, tomorrow or twenty years from now, it won’t be because he looks like Ryan Gosling — it’ll be because he loves me through good times and bad.
It won’t be because I’ve finally found my “other half.” It’ll be because I’ve found a person who complements me, not completes me, because I’m a whole person — complete on my own.
Someday, a good life might mean a luxury car complete with heated seats and a backup camera (necessary for the safety of all other cars in the Target parking lot). Someday, a good life might mean a fancy house in an exotic locale, but more likely, it’ll be a small bungalow in a place where love abounds, the stairs creak, and memories are made.
Someday, a good life might mean becoming a mother, attempting to do half as good of a job as my own did. Raising happy children who will grow up to be productive members of society, but even more importantly, decent and kind people.
While the thought of someday still makes me smile, I no longer live my life there –worrying about what my life should look like, about what it isn’t. Instead, I focus on enjoying all that it is.
I now only focus on today, knowing that if I do so, the somedays will take care of themselves.