Thought #13

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

Perils and Boredom of Life

We begin life mildly optimistic. We have so many goals and expectations about our future that current obstacles seem small and milestones up ahead appear huge and overwhelming, but filled with excitement.

We have so much time ahead that we feel that the long wait for life to begin is too much, too long, too far away for our conceivable hopes to ever happen.

We spend days dreaming of things we want to do later in life, occupations and jobs we could pursue, goals and bucket lists to fulfill.

Life goes on, and the little adventures seem unexciting, unmemorable, and the little perils aren’t too hard to climb over. There’s bigger things up ahead, no sense in making a big deal out of the little things going on now.

Milestones come and go, but we begin to overlook them as we pass them on the road. Our first friends, our first crushes, our first achievements, and our first realizations about the world around us all seem little and insignificant in comparison to the bigger things that will come later in life.

Years go by. Old friends are replaced with new ones, antique trophies get taken down to display recent ones, and good memories are remembered, but not contemplated.

But soon, as we get closer to our big milestones that we’ve been waiting for, life begins to feel like routine. Morning comes again, every day comes, whether we want to linger in yesterday or want today to end faster than previous ones. Before we know it, we begin to realize that today is yesterday, and today will always be tomorrow. Though each day is different, we remember them as the same. We realize that we have a lot of memories of the past, when everything was new yet insignificant to the future. But now, we only have a few memories of the special and of the hard ones, which only appear once every so often.

We enjoy telling stories of our past selves, but we notice that though we have a whole library of our first days, those days when we actually could remember things, we only have an essay or two on more recent events.

We begin feeling lost in a schedule. Even if our lives are disorganized and chaotic, tomorrow will always come, breakfast will be eaten, our daily coffee drunk, and before we know it, dinner is already here.

24 hours seemed like forever, even if 12 of them was spent sleeping back then. Yesterday was fun, today still had its surprise, and tomorrow was patient, waiting for us to arrive.

But now that each day slowly begins to resemble the last one, 24 hours seems like nothing.

Soon, those little insignificant milestones and goals become harder to climb. We used to get excited about getting our first jobs, but now we get nervous over a job interview. We used to imagine ourselves taking long road trips by ourselves, exploring the country, paving new paths, but now we struggle with learning how to drive.

Tests get harder to study for. Applications take longer to sign. The daily news becomes the only excitement everyday.

Our lives get spent worrying about the future we thought we prepared for years beforehand. Yet we don’t feel ready. Things like college and full time jobs and families seem more overwhelming than they did 10 years ago.

We got so used to the boredom of routine and adjusted to the little excitement given to us, the little tests, the little perils, and the little achievements that were once insignificant. Now, our future milestones seem more overwhelming than ever before.

But the future will come, there’s no stopping it.

And as we draw closer to the milestones up ahead, we find ourselves looking back at the days where everything on the path was new and easy to climb over, all those insignificant memories that now seem like a treasure.

We didn’t realize then that our first friends and our first achievements meant something to our future selves. And now, perhaps those milestones up ahead won’t be so hard to climb. Those events will come and go before we now it. We climbed over them back then, and we can climb over them now.