For most young adults, a clean life equals a functional life. If our room is clean, then at least we look like we've got it together. If our car is cleaned out, then we don't look lazy to our friends sitting in the back seat. But lately, I've started to disagree. Yes, cleanliness is next to godliness and whatnot, but who's to say the messy parts of our lives don't mean something good is going on? Sometimes a mess just means we're living.
I don't mind the extra dead bugs on my windshield, because that means I've been driving so much, I haven't had time to give my windshield a good scrub. It means I've driven more miles, seen more places, and met more people. And those experiences are worth much more than a shiny, pretty windshield.
I don't mind getting a B on that test, because instead of spending 5 more hours studying, I spent a few hours on the phone with my brother, catching up and talking about his new hobbies. With our busy schedules, we're lucky just to catch each other at the right time, so we talk for as long as we can. Could I have done better on that test if I'd studied longer? Absolutely. But studying for a few more hours doesn't even compare to hearing about my brother's latest and greatest achievements.
I don't mind the embarrassing sunburn on my face, because it reminds me how much time I spent outdoors. It reminds me that I soaked up just a little too much sun, but that it was worth it because I was doing 90 minutes of yoga with hundreds of new friends at a yoga festival. Yes, I'll look a little funny for a few days, but the tan lines and freckles will tell just how I can't stand being cooped up indoors.
I don't mind the bags under my eyes, because instead of getting adequate rest last week, I stayed up an extra hour to spend time with my friends, whom I won't get to see as much after I graduate. Yes, I may look completely exhausted the next day when I go to class, but I'll be driving to campus thinking about the new inside joke we came up with at 1:00 in the morning. When it comes down to it, I'd rather be making a few more memories rather than getting a few more hours of beauty sleep.
If you were to take a snapshot of my life right now, it would look like chaos. You would look at the photos of my room, car, and face, and think, "Man, she needs to get it together." But in reality, you're only seeing part of the picture. Each dirty or disarranged part of my life represents a memory, or a part of my adventure. So if traveling more often means a dirty windshield, I'll take it. If making a few last memories with my college friends means I look like trash the next day, fine by me. My priorities lie in what I'm doing with my life, not how put together it looks.