When you get older, you’re supposed to get better at delayed gratification, right? I think I’ve gotten worse.
In elementary school and middle school, my life had a beautiful structure: get home from school, finish all my homework in daylight, bike to the park, play around, bike back, have dinner, read for an hour, fight sleep whilst pretending to sleep, fall asleep, and wake up to a new day. This wasn’t a rigid structure. This was the life I loved.
Then high school and college come along. They tell you to think for yourself, to find your passion and pursue it. The most important thing is to be truly you, to be happy.
All of a sudden, nothing is good enough. So much of what I need to do is not what I want to do. My single goal of excelling in school and forgetting the rest is a thing of the past. It’s a game with rules I don’t care to play by anymore. My goal is to be happy. But in which direction is that?
Everything used to be so clear. I knew what needed to be done and I did it. But now, someone tells me to do something and I think, what’s the point? Couldn’t my time be better spent doing something more fulfilling? I guess it depends on if we’re talking about fulfilling for you or fulfilling for me, and fulfilling me short-term or fulfilling me long-term.
When you’re little, you don’t realise how many options you have and how many implications each option will have. As you grow up, you should feel like you know more, but I feel like I know less. Yet the longer you live, the less of it you have left, the less time you have to sort everything out. You realise that your life has been nothing more than preparing for the next thing (grade school for college, college for career, then what?). You realise that life is short. You realise that you deserve happiness. You realise that you need to live now. And there’s the death of delayed gratification for me.
What if I didn’t know there was anything better than what there was? What if I didn’t base everything off of myself and my happiness? I’m a fickle, unreliable being as it is, hardly a stable pad to leap off from. What if I did everything I needed to do instead of what I wanted to do? Wouldn’t life be easier?
But you can choose easy. Or you can choose life.