I learn the hard way, usually. My mother could agree that all of my life I've had to learn for myself what was right no matter how many times I was told. I remember in my elementary school days having my mom insist that I wear a coat to school and I would protest for some reason or I would "forget" my coat. Recess was usually pretty chilly on those days but I had to figure that out on my own. The painful way. (I'm sorry mom)
Today I am more eager to listen to my mother when she shares her advice or tells me what to do. I'm not saying I'm obedient- just more aware now that she is always right and her words or actions are always driven by her love for me.
I've learned, the long and painful way, that what I thought I needed to have a good life was actually superfluous. I am 27 and still trying to figure out the exact ingredients for my happy life recipe.
One thing that I did/do need, but that I was not aware of, was a little bit of validation. With working full time and going to school every single day I had fallen into a routine where the things I did daily were just a normal task I had to do. I forgot that going to school requires great effort. I forgot that I was working toward (and almost done with a big chunk) a big life goal. I forgot that I was trying to pay for it all myself.
Now I don't need/want a trophy or a ribbon. Many people go to college and accomplish greater things than I ever will. What I did need was to hear from a loved one that they believed I was doing something with my life. I needed to hear them say they thought I was working hard. I needed to feel validated and encouraged. Perhaps I was comparing myself to other people, or maybe I lost sight of the bigger picture. Comparison truly is the thief of joy and I'm surrounded by people who will always be more accomplished than I am or have more money and a bigger house than I do. I am regularly reminding myself that the things that other people have are not the things that will make my life better. I am constantly re discovering that my life is rich without money or a fancy house and that I have everything I could possibly need (and then some) to be happy.
I got what I needed but I did it the hard way.
I was able to step out of my funk and look at my life and say hey... look how far you've come!
I have a long (long long long) way to go before I hit my goal and I am so thankful for the people in my life who stick by me and encourage me and bring me ice cream at 9pm in bed.
My point is..... Perspective and Gratitude. I'm working on it.