I'm a mix of emotions. A bottle of thoughts. A corkscrew wound tight. A bottle of soda shaken up ready to spew out when it's cracked open. I've been feeling for a while now that I'm going thru a pre-mid-life crisis. I turn 26 at the end of this month and been asking myself:
What do I have to show for it?
What have I done with my degree?
Have I lived up to expectations--expectations others had for me?
Expectations I had for myself?
Is my life what I want it to be?
How much money do I have in my bank account to show for my 26 yrs of existence?
Who have I helped?
What have I accomplished?
If I died today, how would I be remembered?
Am I making a difference?
Big stuff. Big questions. I want BIG answers.
These questiosn are all-consuming. They are thought provoking, but draining at the same time. When we try and sum up our lives on paper, it can feel empty and like we've fallen short. It's like Jerry Maguire screaming: SHOW ME THE MONEY!!! Show me the results! Show me what you've done with your life thus far?
These are the kind of questions the world asks of us:
How much are you worth?
What's your net present value?
Has your expensive education paid off?
How do you compare to your friends?
What kind of car do you drive?
How many square feet is your house?
What kind of vacations do you take?
How high have you climbed on the corporate ladder?
And on and on and on...
Wow, it's paralyzing. It really is. Regardless of how you skin the cat, peel the apple, ask the questions, it feels like I haven't lived up to expectations. We have more questions than answers. We live in a world focused on results--show me the money, show me your 401k, show me your stock options, show me your productivity, accomplishments, accolades....and then I will tell you whether or not you've done well for yourself.
This is a treadmill. We will always be running. Running to catch up with our neighbor. Running for the next gold medal, next promotion, bigger house, newer car, better kids, to only be skinnier, leaner, stronger...
I'm realizing as I come to the 26th milestone of my life that if I'm not happy with WHO I am and WHERE I am in life right here, right now, I will never be happy. No gold medal, no number of promotions, no fancy dancy business school degree...nothing, nada, rien will make me happy.
Happiness is a choice. Happiness is NOW. Happiness is HERE. Happiness is TODAY.
Today is what I make of it. So I choose today to live fulfilled. To receive the blessings God gives me and to in turn be a blessing to others. This is when we find true fulfillment:
Receiving gifts and then giving them to others. Passing it on. Paying it forward.