• Bri Cooper

Carpe Diem: The Value of Presence Over Perfection

Updated: Jul 17, 2019

Right, smack-dab in the middle of throwing myself a pity party after a week of letting my troubles do the conga in my brain, my lovely boyfriend gave me some insight that might have just turned my thinking for the better.

He said (something along the lines of), “I think you look too much at your next accomplishment or milestone as something that will fix all of your problems.”

Light bulb! He could not have been more spot-on. I am nearly 23 years old, fresh out of college and living in a new city. I wouldn’t say that every detail of my life is exactly how I would have dreamed it up as I walked bright eyed across that stage eight months ago. (And I mean really, whose is?)

I am living a state away from my entire family and group of friends, who I miss terribly. I am putting a ton of pressure on myself to figure out immediately the career that I can see myself working in for the next 40+ years; one that will make me feel inspired and fulfilled everyday. I’m also navigating through my very first full-time job and still actively learning to manage my bills, car payments, taxes… the list goes on and on.

This stage of life has just been straight up confusing. In every sense of the phrase, your girl is soul searchin’. And yes, sometimes I let the imp of my mind win and end up feeling just plain sorry for myself.

I’m sort of ashamed to admit that I find myself thinking this way often:

Only 2 more weeks until I get to see my sister, and then for a couple days I won’t have to miss having family around so much.

When I finally land that dream job that is perfect for me, life will be so much better!

Oh, Kat, don’t worry. You might be home alone on a Friday night, but as soon as you find your group of Phoenix girlfriends, you’ll be so much happier.

Looking at that written out makes me cringe. How did I not realize I was putting off my own happiness, and in the meantime lacking so much presence and awareness to the right now?

It is easy to become impatient in seasons of life that might be not so ideal. So often we fantasize about our dreams and goals and convince ourselves that attaining those goals is where our happiness lies.

If that were the case, how could anyone ever even obtain true happiness? It reminds me of when I was a young teenager and I thought that getting the new iPhone for Christmas would make me feel fulfilled. Realistically, the gadget made me excited for a day and then pretty much lost its luster after that.

Setting a deadline on the calendar of happiness just is not a realistic way to live. There are so many blessings big and small that can be overlooked when we focus too much on the future. Taking the time to be truly present in each moment of life as it plays out is so much more fulfilling!

To nip this deconstructive habit of thinking in the bud, I have made an earnest effort to replace any wishful thinking with thoughts of gratitude for what I do have. Right here. Right now.

I am so glad that I have my boyfriend’s family to hang out with down the street. And thank goodness for FaceTime – my mom and I just can’t live without it!

I am so young and literally just graduated from college. I am going to use my free time to actively research careers that might be right for me.

Heck. Yes. An empty apartment, ice cream in the freezer, and Netflix at my fingertips… I’m ready to decompress alone on this Friday night!

Full disclosure, I am beyond grateful for the endless blessings I have in my life like family, friends, our health, and the ability to live with a comfy and safe bed to crawl into every night. I think, like many of us strollin’ through life, I just needed a reminder to get myself back on track.

The point I am trying to make is that whatever your desired destination, you’ll get there eventually. Or, you won’t. But that truly does not matter, because fixating on the end result and basing your happiness off of getting there will not get you there any faster.

I am so glad that Andrew put this into perspective for me because I could have wasted years searching for satisfaction instead of finding the joy in my unique journey.

I do not need to have it all figured out or any of my problems to be solved in order to fully embrace this life, and my friend, neither do you.

Thanks for reading!


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