My whole life, my dad has teased me about my invisible checklist. Yes, it’s true, I seem to have a mental list of everything I want to do, of all the things I want to accomplish and all of the dreams I want to achieve. And once I decide to do it, I do it, usually as quickly and efficiently as possible. Sounds great right? Well, sometimes, it is. But sometimes, my best moments in life pass me by. College was literally one big blur of classes and summer school and yes, I finished in three and a half years, but I never did any of the silly stuff, took fun classes like French or art or anything not completely focused on my major. Looking back now, I think that while it was a great experience, I occasionally wish I’d spent more lazy days on the lawn of my alma mater or taken a few classes that weren’t Official Business of the English Major.
If it’s not checking things off of the almighty list, it’s worrying. Worrying about everyone, about everything that MIGHT happen. Worrying about the what-if’s, the invisible monsters that seem to creep up in the night or in the silence, when I can’t help but think of all the possibilities. I worry about the past, the present, the future, the future of the future. It’s a sickness, really. One time, a friend asked me to make a check mark on a Post-It note every time I worried. I’ll have you know I filled that sucker up by 11:01 am. No jokes!
Last week was like one big exhale. Literally, all of the stress I’d been feeling for weeks: finishing my credential work, laying awake at night worrying if I’d have a job, just wanting it all to be over, to have answers—it all faded away in one glorious day. As embarrassing as it is, I found myself mid-afternoon in Andrew’s arms, crying my eyes out just to have the stress of it all melt away and to once again feel like all was right in the world. I’ve yet to totally spill the beans about the past few years of my life, but suffice it to say that there was a rough patch, when literally all things I knew and loved fell apart. To see all of that come together, more beautiful than before, and to truly feel like maybe, just maybe, everything really is going to be better than okay is so amazing and happy.
And I’m beginning to think that maybe, just maybe, I’ve gotten it. I found myself really peaceful and excited to go to work today, to step into my classroom and make my coffee and chat with my dear friend Brittany and spend time with my students. I’m trying to enjoy the moments I have where life is simple and uncomplicated. Money is stable, I know I’ll have a job I love, good friends, the love of my family and a relationship with the person I love most. I’m trying to revel in these moments of things being good.
Sure, I may not be as thin as I’d like, nor as rich and of course I’ve yet to learn Spanish or the guitar or start volunteering. But I’m trying to learn to live in and love the everyday. To enjoy what I have now, and see what is good in it. Because the truth is, it won’t always be that way—there will weeks and months when things are difficult.
But I’m not going to worry about that now. I’m going to enjoy the good, the love and the happiness that is right now.