Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. — Oprah Winfrey
I don’t normally quote Oprah. But I’ve been mulling over how to write this post for a long time, and my alarm clock app gives me a quote of the day, and gave me that gem this morning.
Back in college, when I was waiting tables, I met a lot of interesting people. That was one of the cool things about working in restaurants. Meeting people with life experiences so different from my own. During one of the many conversations I had with someone so different from me, I got a piece of advice that still sticks with me today. We were having a conversation about relationships, but the advice resonated with me about everything.
I don’t remember what it was verbatim (it’s been over a decade since those days), but it was along the lines of not having any expectations in your relationships. Instead, appreciate each person you meet for who they are and what they can offer. When you get caught up in your own expectations, you have tunnel vision, and might miss out on a great person who offers things you didn’t even know you wanted. Or, outside of relationships, you could miss out on a great opportunity you weren’t aware of.
That whole idea – letting go of what you expect, so you are open to appreciate what life sends your way – really resonated with me. I feel like I kind of embraced that in all facets of life, not just my romantic life. I tried to truly let go of any expectations, and live my life with an open mind. And heart.
I had some general ideas about where I wanted my life to go – graduate from college, get a job that offered satisfaction in some way, and someday find a life partner. But I had no timeline, no bucket list, no “I want to do X thing by Y age,” no vision of who my life partner would be, or where I would live, etc. What mattered more to me was living life, experiencing the world, and finding happiness. In whatever shape those things took.
To be honest, lately I’ve been distracted by what I don’t have. I’ve been wrestling with some internal stuff, and while I thought I was leaving myself open, because it was all quite unexpected, I’ve also realized I’ve had tunnel vision with it. I got distracted by what I didn’t have, when what I already have is pretty damn wonderful.
Anyway, this post is kind of vague, but that’s the point. Moving forward, I’ll continue my mindset of “be happy, do fun things, see what I can of the world, make those around me feel loved, and give back in some way” and see what happens. I’ll continue to be open to what comes my way, but also make sure I never stop appreciating the awesomeness of what I already have.