“When I’m grown up I’m going to eat only candy every day and it’s going to be awesome.”
I can remember saying that very phrase to my Mother when I was probably in the third grade, and I meant it with every part of my little being. Why any self-respecting adult with half a brain wasn’t spending all of their income on sugar, razor scooters and turning their garage into a permanent trampoline room, I couldn’t understand. Just under a year ago I hit a point in my life that I would arguably call “on my own.” While I’ve legally been an adult for some time now, I still lived within the structure of college life for four years, and even after that had some financial and decision making input from others in one way or another. Yet, as the snow fell last January and I slowly settled into a new chapter of my life, it hit me hard – every decision that I make is my own.
It truly leaves me in awe, at times, how certain experiences can be equally both overwhelmingly exciting and unbearably terrifying, yet I truly believe that almost all of life’s lessons come from these moments. Just as clearly as I can remember bragging to my Mother about my future diabetic diet, I will always remember the day that I learned what it means to make a simple “grown up” decision. One day before rushing off to work I took a look at my bed – a bed that I never put much thought or care into whether or not was made – and I came to a conclusion.
I deserve to come home to a bed that has been made.
It was a simple decision, but I think that many important ones usually are. While the world undoubtedly throws us difficult, life altering questions from time to time, there is no denying that the greatest percentage of our lives as human beings is made up of a near-endless sea of effortless daily decisions. I truly believe that no matter our backgrounds and no matter our age, all of the seemingly unimportant actions that we choose to make throughout our lives can be narrowed down to one simple question, “do I love myself, or not?” Do I love myself enough to think before I speak? Do I love myself enough to keep in touch with the people who mean something in my life? Do I love myself enough to clean my kitchen or to de-clutter my car or to shut off my phone, leave it at home and take a walk outside?
Until I consciously made simple decisions like that for myself I could never fully understand how climbing into a clean, made bed can make an exceptionally long day seem slightly less horrible, or how crafting supposedly pointless lists can actually make a person feel a little more sane, or even how dragging myself out of bed earlier than usual on those soul-chilling mornings to exercise my muscles and clear my head is actually entirely worth the way my mind feels for the remainder of the day. While the line between “yes” and “maybe later” may seem insignificant, our response to these moments is so much more important than our young minds could have ever imaged, for our responses prove our own self worth. As we continue to travel down the roads that we are taken and an unavoidable sharp turn comes slightly into view, may we hold on tightly and may we love ourselves enough to know that there will always be a freshly made bed waiting for us to come home to.