Deadlines are not important; the deadlines for work, school, and things related to that, those are important. Life's deadlines are not important. Society tells us that we must be married, have the perfect job, and have children by a certain age. A lot of the times we end up believing that if we do not do certain things by a certain time, we have failed or we are not doing as good as everyone else. The truth is, society's and life's deadlines are crap. There is no specific time to be married by, no specific time to have your perfect job by, and no specific time to have children by. These things should not be accomplished until you are ready and capable to accomplish them; this means that if you are not 50 until you have your perfect job, you are not 30 until you are married and you are not 40 until you have children, that is okay. There is nothing wrong with waiting, experiencing life, growing in who you are, and doing what you need to do first. A lot of people do not have their perfect job until later in life because if we are all honest here, that is one of the hardest things to figure out and hardest decisions to make. People stress so much because they have not met these certain deadlines of life that they have been told their entire lives they need to meet by a certain time. So often, the important things like a job, a marriage, and children are rushed and people end up miserable. There is no sense in rushing if you are not ready for it yet. When it comes to finding the perfect job for you, look around, find your interests, and figure out what you can spend years of your life doing; take your time and be patient. When it comes to marriage and having children, do not rush it, it is one of the worst things to rush; do it in the time frame you want to and make sure it is what you want. Take a deep breathe and stop freaking out; you have plenty of time. Instead of going by society's and life's deadlines, go by your own and base that off of your capabilities and your wants.
Okay awesome! Now that I have your attention, I'll keep it quick, but I want to tell you something that everyone needs to hear....PUT THE PHONE DOWN!!!
We have become a society that is completely glued to our phones-any moment that needs to be filled, we reach for it. I'll be the first to admit, I am 10,000% guilty of this. Just yesterday I spent the hour and a half before my flight from LA on my phone, and then once we got home, I spent the car ride back on it as well.
This past week I spent Spring Break in LA with my cousins. We went everywhere--Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Disneyland, the Getty, Venice Beach, Griffith Observatory and so many more places... What do they all have in common? GREAT PICTURE PLACES!!! The weather was great and so were the views, so naturally I whipped out the camera to capture the beauty. But in the back of my mind the little voice said stop! stop! stop! just take in the view instead of through a camera. (Which by the way, can't even begin to capture the beauty of the places we saw.) I love taking pictures, in fact I'm constantly taking pictures..which my brother and sister have pointed out many times. I never saw anything wrong with it, because taking pictures is a great way to capture a moment, a feeling or a memory...and I love looking at them!
But when it gets in the way of the experience, is it worth it?
This was a huge challenge for me over the past week. I really tried to balance phone vs. views. Yes take the picture but then put it away and take it all in. We miss so much going on in our lives by not being present in the moment. When looking around the balcony we were on, overlooking LA, there was not a single person not on their phone, posing for a selfie or taking a group picture. A few people strayed into flower beds in the gardens of the Getty or bumped into people on the path because they were looking down. They missed the migrating butterflies or the small tadpoles in the Beverly Hills pond.
Being home now, looking at the pictures I took-yes they are nice and great to have. But the picture in my mind of the true beauty is so much better. The green of the trees and the mountains, the brilliance of the sunset, the blue skies, the laughter of doing random Buzzfeed quizzes after a long day of adventuring, the warm California air and the joy of being in Disney cannot be captured truly in pictures or texts... it is in moments and memories that we are present.
I know its contradictory to tell you to put the phone down because you're probably reading this on your phone or laptop. But challenge yourself... less screen and more seen. Be present, I promise its worth it :)