My friends and I played a game the other night. It was a card game (I forget the name of it), but in place of numbers and faces, there were questions.
One of the questions was, “Rate this year on a scale from 1-10.” Immediately, I thought, “Oh, gosh. This is going to be hard.”
A lot has happened over the course of the last 11 months, but at the same time, not much of anything has happened, either. Confusing, I know, but it’s the truth.
At the beginning of the year, I was living out in Utah. I spent my time exploring mountains, national parks, new neighborhoods, a new city, new people, new everything. I quit the job I had been dreaming about leaving and I started making my desires a priority. I went from a “one day” mentality to a “day one” mindset. I didn’t want to continue living my life just coasting through it. I wanted to live my life on my terms.
The first half of 2021 was straight out of a movie. Had I been playing the part of a main character, the plot line would have revolved around a girl who started calling all her own shots and living her most authentic, true self.
She would have been shown traveling to Alaska and watching the Northern Lights dance across the night sky with her best friends. You would have seen her hiking through Zion National Park and slot canyons in southern Utah. She was roaming the desert, driving to Wyoming just to eat lunch, skiing at world class resorts, scoping out the best spots in town to watch the sunset over the mountaintops, and realizing that the world was filled with opportunities waiting for her to take advantage of them.
It was truly, truly all once in a lifetime.
But the latter half of the year hasn’t been all rainbows and sunshine. The first half wasn’t either (there were moments of pits and downfalls), but the second half has proven to be a test of my mental limits, patience, and self-belief.
Very few things that I have worked for or wanted have manifested into reality. I am not, by any means, living my dream life or even living a life I feel uber connected to. I am making do with what I have and where I am and hanging onto hope that everything I have learned, become, and embodied will prove worthwhile in due time.
“In due time” is such a hard pill to swallow. It gives no reassurance and no ounce of moral support. It demands you to be faithful and optimistic without a single indication of whether “due time” is scheduled in this lifetime.
The hardest part of “due time”, though, is knowing that going after what you want means delaying gratification. You just have to live with hoping that one day, it will all be worth it. That’s all you have. A little bit of hope paired alongside a lotta bit of hard work.
I’ve spent this entire year redirecting the trajectory of my life. That is not meant to sound dramatic. It is meant to be whole-heartedly truthful.
At the beginning of 2021, I was sitting on the precipice of what the rest of my life would look like.
This year, I’ve asked myself the hardest questions you can possibly ask yourself. I’ve looked myself in the mirror and demanded more, way more, out of me. I’ve spent days and days digging through my person and searching for the core of my soul.
Listening. Questioning. Understanding. Accepting.
This year has been legendary and tone-setting. It has also been challenging and unforgiving. It has brought me to new heights (figuratively and literally) and dragged me to new lows (unfortunately, just figuratively).
On top of that, I’m turning 25 in a month and a half. When I was 10 years old, I thought I’d be married, live in my own house, and have a kid by now, and let me just say, WOW, I was way off. WAY off.
I’m nowhere near marriage, nowhere even kinda close to owning my own house, and light years away from starting a family. I couldn’t be further from where I thought I’d be by 25, and as much as I want all three of those things someday, they are so far out of reach at this point in time.
So, all of this forced me to think long and hard about what I’d rate 2021 on a scale from 1-10 when my friends and I went around and detailed our yearly reviews.
Although I settled on a cool 6.7 (6.7 may be a little generous, but I like my glass half full), I’d take one average year over countless sub 6’s in the future.
See, you have to weigh the pros and cons of your circumstances every once in a while, and if that means siding with short-term loss for long-term gain, take the delayed gratification if you have to.
My friends gave 8+ ratings on their years. I thought, “I am so happy for you. Who doesn’t love an 8.5 year?”
But my 6.7 isn’t anything to be ashamed of. It is indicative of my most transformative year to date. How do you let a year that significant be overshadowed by a number?
You don’t. You simply don’t.
Moral of the story: Building a life that suits you may take time. Let it. Rome wasn’t built in a day. If it had been, it probably wouldn’t still be standing today.