A short reflection from last fall that explores how to make the most of any circumstance!
One of the downsides of living life in a way that is different from most people is that I have the tendency to view my current state as more of a holding pattern while I wait for real life to begin. Several conversations and thoughts over the past month have challenged the foolishness of this notion as I recognise how incredibly fortunate I am to enjoy my particular experience of life.
I am living now, not setting myself up to apply for an opportunity to live at some point in the future. Certainly, the life of a full-time student and broke writer and failed entrepreneur has its challenges and sometimes I would rather pretend like this difficult course is not my first choice. My choice to live life in this way may have resulted in part from my unwillingness to choose another way, but I cannot continue to view it as such. If I had to choose again, I would go the same way that I have already and be prepared to enjoy it. Now that my season of focus on learning and developing myself is drawing to a close, I finally begin to recognise the benefits that it has given to me.
I have indulged in the luxury of exploring ideas that was only available to the wealthy in previous generations. I have had the time for self-reflection and discovery very few can still afford. I have wandered around the globe experiencing nature and culture in a way that very few people in the modern century ever will. I have tried so many different things that my interests and skill sets are both diverse and clear.
Yet, for some reason, an ideal grown-up me – or just another version of life continues to rear its head as the more responsible experience of life. From a cultural perspective, there are certain ways of living that contribute to stability and success of a people. However, from an individual perspective, there is no prescribed method of success that can either be met or missed. If this is the life that I enjoy, perhaps I should not feel uncomfortable about making the most of it.
Within the context of these musings, I have become comfortable with the idea of spending a little bit more of my life in Australia than I had previously planned. Alternatively, I could travel to other parts of the world that draw my attention and take their invitation of adventure. Technology enables me to maintain some sense of community even far away from home and the personality that I am shaping is more helped than hurt by this diversity of experience.
On the other hand, my value for community and forming deeper friendships with people for experiencing life together has grown and wherever I am I will seek to find this. It is what I appreciated most about Minnesota and what I miss about it. However, as I move beyond homesickness, I am beginning to find enjoyment in a similar community here. I will see what I can do to make Sydney an amazing place. How will this part of the world be different because I have been here? I am not on a detour waiting to suddenly engage my life. I am here right now, ready to act, enjoy, and live in the way that most suits my interest. I cannot predict the future and can prepare for it only by becoming a man of character. This change in my attitude is part of the process.
In addition to this, I am becoming aware of the importance of timing. While I live my life, there are certain things that fit in at certain places and some that don’t where I wish they would. Learning to recognise and accept which blessings can be part of my life at this moment and which must be saved for a later time is difficult. I have succeeded in some parts of my life, but others remain a challenge. However, I feel like I am coming to understand the importance of letting go of one thing so that I can pursue another. Life does not always happen in the right order. But what is meant to be will come to be and my happiness does not depend on which is which.
Rather, it is a choice to appreciate my limitations and opportunities. Even as tonight I am letting go of an opportunity to apply for funding for my business and recognise my lack of academic skills in the Australian context, I am happy with my opportunity to study, explore, and live in this country. I cannot always be and perform as I would wish, but if I do my best with the opportunities I have and still come up short, there is nothing to regret.