There comes a time in everyone’s lives where they have to make a choice. To either dwell on what they don’t have and compare their lives to every other 20-something, or to decide to live their life according to what they want and need.
And there comes a time in many people’s lives where they have to make a big decision. To either change their life for someone else, or to change their life for themselves and for their future selves.
I always knew I wanted to write. I knew that I had to write, to keep sane, to keep myself from going mental. And frankly, it was the only thing I was truly good at it. As it turns out, I was good at falling in love too.
When I was seventeen, a boy was my entire universe. Until I was around twenty-one, he was everything to me. He was my planet that circled around my mind every damn minute. No one else mattered. I didn’t even matter. Just as long as I had him, I’d be ok. I’d be happy.
But just like many things end in life, so did we. And on that day, I swore up and down that nothing else could ever make me as happy as he did. I swore up and down that no hobby, no other person, and no other life resolution or goal, could ever amount to the astounding presence that he had in my life.
I knew that nothing could fill up my soul, like he had done.
A year after we broke up, I remember being twenty-two, stung with rejection and with a creative writing degree that I thought was pretty much useless. I remember moving home and getting a office job in D.C, feeing like I was an ant in a world of giants. Feeling like I wouldn’t amount to anything. Feeling like I was already dead.
But then came a little place called Thought Catalog. My outlet. My safe haven. My church. A place where I finally felt like I belonged. A place where I finally felt at peace. A place that made me feel like I was finally living life. For me.
A place that reminded me that, maybe, just maybe, I was worth something. No matter my relationship status.
And just like that, with a few clicks of my mouse and 600 words later, I found something that made me happier than any boy could. I found something that filled me up in ways that no guy ever has. I found something that made my blood pump, and made my heart rate speed up with adrenaline that not even love could give me.
I used to tell myself that I would only feel fulfilled if I had everything. If I had the guy, the apartment, the perfect hair, and the fame. But that’s not the answer at all.
Because right now, I live at home with my parents. I don’t have a boyfriend. I don’t have a lot of things that my seventeen year old self would’ve died without. I don’t have a lot of things people my age do. But I’m happier than I have ever been. And I am more thankful than I have ever been in my 24-years of living thus far.
And truthfully, I have something worth more than what many people say isn’t all that important. And that’s joy.
It’s not about getting everything. It’s not about having the most fancy lifestyle, having the newest car, making the most money, it’s not about ‘things’ at all. It’s about finding something that you’re good at, that fills your heart and soul with the kind of love that a boy could never give you. Finding something that brings you love for yourself, and love for your life.
You just need to find something that fills up your holes. That fills up your void. That makes you realize your self-worth. That makes your life worth living.
So if you are feeling a little lost, a little small, and a little insignificant, maybe what you need to do is focus a little less on what you don’t have, and focus more on what your heart needs. Focus on what turns your heart into a wildfire. And focus more on what makes your heart soar, instead of what makes it sink.
You don’t need that boy or girl as much as you think you do. You don’t need to be in a relationship to truly feel fulfilled. You just need yourself and a little faith that someday, you’ll get to where you need to be.