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Everything Will Be Perfect When . . .

I’m not exactly sure when that sentence started to dominate my life.  The earliest time I remember it really becoming prominent in my inner dialogue was in college.

“Everything will be perfect when I can just get a boyfriend.”

The feminist inside me is rolling her eyes so hard right now. B,ut sadly, that is what consumed my thoughts through college. Forget the fact that, in reality, I was kicking college butt. In school full-time, making decent grades, waiting tables in the evenings, and part of an amazing sorority — life was good. No, no. Forget all of that. I needed a boyfriend to be happy. Gag.

Of course, in hindsight, I see that I did NOT need a boyfriend. And I was doing just fine. However, as life went on, the thoughts of, “Everything will be perfect when ___  happens” started coming in rapid succession.

everythings-perfect

Everything will be perfect when I get a job. Then I got a job! I should be happy, right?! But then . . .

Everything will be perfect when I get a boyfriend. (Ugh. That again!)

Everything will be perfect when I lose weight. (This could really be a whole separate post on its own . . .)

Even as things started happening in life, I found myself unable to enjoy the happiness for very long. This “thing” that I had wanted for so long, once I had it, just became a stepping stone to the next “thing” that would make me happy.

Everything will be perfect when . . . you’re married . . . when you get a new job . . . when you have a baby . . . when the baby sleeps through the night . . . when you have another baby . . . when you lose the weight . . . when you buy a new house . . . when you {fill in the blank}.

I felt as though my brain could not process the good and the happy in my life. I seemed only able to see what I did not currently have. Desperately, I wish for this to be a past tense problem—long since solved. Instead I still continue to struggle with this daily. 

So — how do you quiet these thoughts and appreciate and live in the moment? How do you let go of the idea of the “perfect life?”

I have no idea.

While I have not quite figured out how to silence these “perfection” thoughts once and for all, I have figured out some ways to quiet them down a bit.

Make a grateful list.

I start listing all of the people, things, and opportunities that I have and for which I am grateful. This sounds simple and plain and like a completely obvious solution. But honestly? It helps me. Going through the list in my head (sometimes over and over and over) helps me crawl out of my “woe is me” attitude and focus on the here and the now instead of the one aspect of my life that I wish was different.

Reminders.

While I’m making my grateful list, I also remind myself of all of the times in the past when I thought that “one thing” would complete me. In hindsight I can, of course, see that once I obtained my “one thing,” it did not solve all of my problems or make life perfect. I remind myself that life is not perfect. There is no one thing that will make it perfect. If I ever get the thing I want so badly, I now know it’s not going to create a perfect and problem-free life. And, honestly? Who wants perfect anyway? 

One of my favorite songs is Crazy by Pat Green. My favorite line of the song is this:

Don’t you think life would be awfully boring
If the good times were all that we had?

Yes, Pat. Yes, I do. Life would be boring indeed.

Your lack of something does not define you.

This might be the hardest thing to remember sometimes. Once we get so fixated on what we do not have, we sometimes begin to feel like that it is our defining quality. In my senior year of college, my three roommates were all engaged. I definitely felt like the world saw me only as “Amy: The girl with no boyfriend.” That was not who I was! And that is not how my friends saw me either. I wish I could go back and shake college Amy and tell her to get over herself! Author Lysa TerKeurst said it best when she said, “Don’t put the whole of your identity into the smallness of a situation.”   Exactly! You are not defined by your insecurities, which in reality, are where most of our “Everything will be perfect when” statements begin.

Ladies (and fellas), you are doing a bang up job! Do not let those “perfect” voices in your head get you down. And when those voices start talking to you again? Telling you that “everything will be perfect when . . .”? Tell that voice to kick rocks! Then go grab yourself a bottle glass of wine, and toast to the good things in life.

Cheers!

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