Life, Time, And What To Do With It All

Saturday, May 7, 2016

(Apologies in advance if this is a little all over the place. It's hard to have a clear train of thought on an abstract concept. Bear with me.)

The other night, I had a very interesting conversation with a friend about life and time and what to do with it all.

She said, "I just want to do something bigger (and if you ask what I mean, I don't even have an answer) and am struggling with how to do that."

I told her that I understood wanting to do more, but she should still feel satisfied and proud of where she's at in life now. I said she's still young and has so much time to do things.

"You're right, but at the same time, 'the trouble is you think you have time.' That quote has always lingered in my head. I never want to put things off assuming I'll do it later."

So how much time do we really have in life?

Personally, I think we have a lot of time. J.K. Rowling was 32 when Harry Potter was first published. We have presidential candidates in their 60s and 70s. Amazing things can be done at any age. I still enjoy the little "life is short" sayings – life's too short to be unhappy, life's too short to not do what you want. But most of us are going to live a life made up of more than 30,000 days. More than 720,000 hours.

There's a lot of pressure for 20-somethings to simultaneously let loose and throw caution to the wind and live life to the absolute fullest, but to also grow up and have their shit together by the time the decade is up. We're pulled in two directions, and it's hard to determine which one we should follow.

While I do think our 20s is a great time to take advantage of opportunities and experiences, I don't believe that once you hit 30, that's it, and anything you haven't done is no longer possible. I don't believe that your "life is over" once you are married or have children. I think that feeling pressured by time is giving into the notion that you should or shouldn't (or couldn't) be doing something by a certain age.

That's what I think, but truthfully, it doesn't really matter what perspective you hold, whether it's that the trouble is you think you have time or that you have your whole life ahead of you. What matters is the way it affects your life and how you live it.

A possible downside to my perspective is that I could end up doing what my friend is so reluctant to do – putting things off. Since I look at life as being a long stretch of time, it'd be easy for me to do that. It'd be easy for me to settle into a routine instead of chasing new experiences.

Another friend of mine was recently talking about how she doesn't want to ever feel "stuck." Stuck at a job she doesn't like because she needs the money. Stuck in a place she doesn't want to live because she's too afraid of moving. "I'd rather be poor and happy than rich and miserable," she said, and the thing is that she genuinely means this. When we get this question in a game of Would You Rather, everybody says they'd rather be poor and happy, but when they hit that fork in the road in real life, many of us choose the other route.

I think there is plenty of time in life, but I have to be sure that I take advantage of that and not let it all slip away from me; that I view it as time to do even more things. On the other hand, it's important to remind myself that just because I have other goals and things I want to do in life, that doesn't mean that I should be unhappy about what I'm doing or where I'm at now (because I still have so much time ahead of me).

For my friend, she wants to do something bigger, and she's figuring out what that means.

For me, I want to travel, pursue new experiences, and ensure I am always learning. That's how I want to live my life. Sometimes that'll be more small scale, and others bigger.

For you, it could be much different. We are only given one life, and whether you think it'll fly by or that it'll last forever, make the most of it.

(P.S. I set up a new email account, so if you're interested in chatting about this, or about anything else, feel free to send me something at I'd love it.)

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  1. Really interesting food for thought! I completely agree with you on this post. I feel like there's so much pressure on millennials to be successful at such a young age - I mean we're constantly bombarded with successful bloggers/ YouTubers and other millennials on social media, which can sometimes make us feel inadequate with our current life choices. With only a year left at uni and no clue what I'd like to do after, I recently started to feel this way myself. However after writing down everything I've achieved in life so far, I soon realised that I'd done pretty good so far and know that I'll find my feet eventually!

    1. Exactly! I totally agree with what you said about being surrounded by successful people on the Internet/social media and feeling that pressure. But I'm sure you've accomplished some great things so far, and it's important not to forget those!! Thanks for commenting, Bekki. :)