Every single day we go through the same routine, challenges, complications, achieve milestones, dream bigger, etc. We wake up in the morning, set ourselves up for the day ahead and then boom out of nowhere something happens: unexpected promotion, a family member gets pregnant, someone gets sick or gets into the car accident. Everyday, we go through life unprepared for the unexpected yet living the routine life: Thus for me, living is the art of getting by.
Living in the age of social media, it is a challenge to focus on your life and not pay attention to the lives of your friends. It is practically impossible, as you see the photos of their "happy" lives on all around. A picture is worth a thousand words, while this is true, it is also true that a picture only shows you a tiny percentage, a tiny angle to someone's life. Regardless, we constantly feel in competition with the others - sometimes this happens subconsciously. We feel this sudden urge to live up to the others: oh wow she is getting married, she is onto her second baby, he just started his own business and he graduated with me at the same time. Willingly or not, you start reflecting upon your life: what do you have? where are you going? what is it that you truly want?
Once we have passed the comparison stage, we get to the setting expectations stage. We expect to one day have what the others have today. We expect the best for ourselves and set goals that do not follow the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) frame but goals that we wish we could achieve. While it is good to be ambitious, we have to maintain our expectations as close to reality as possible. Why? Because it hurts like hell when your expectations are not met and worse when they are nowhere close of being reached. A lot of us out there, myself included, set high expectations for ourselves: always be on time, never make a mistake, be well prepared, do not let anyone down... And then you enter a competing with yourself stage. You see there is a drastic difference between competing with yourself and wanting to be a better version of yourself. One makes you chase yourself and the other makes you work on your flaws to be a better person.
Expectations. Our friends, family, loved ones, colleagues all have expectations of us as well. Friends for example, would expect you to be there for them when they are in need. But what if one day you need them? Will they be around? Family expects you to make them proud and to never fail. Your colleagues expect you to never let them down, and the list of such expectations can be extended to over numerous pages. Sometimes, such expectations put pressure on us and it becomes harder to get through the day.
If you are lucky, you will meet one person in your life who will bring a ray of sunshine into your life. The one person who makes the whole world colourful. I am not talking about romantic relationships or soul mates. It helps of course if this is the person you fall in love with and honestly most likely you will fall in love with them because they will bring to your life something that is crucially missing: faith and hope. When you meet that person, let them in. It will be horrifying to open up your heart but make sure you let them in. The minute you let them go - you will have a feeling of emptiness inside you.
Everyday, we are walking through life, getting by the challenges. To me living is an art. Mastering to live gracefully and with dignity is the ultimate masterpiece. We paint our own pictures and write our own stories. We choose our own soundtrack to our life and we choose to either follow or ignore the white noise of social media.