Hollow, vacant memories. Those that have no substance because they never were. The moment didn’t happen. At least not beyond the walls of your mind.
An opportunity, thrown away.
Chances so real you could taste them, but a fear so smothering you couldn’t savor the reality.
These are the lost moments.
These are the experiences we forfeited when we allowed fear and anxiety to be the dictator of our lives.
It’s not necessarily the fear or the anxiety that scares us the most. It’s the vacancy; the empty space where a memory should have been, but fear robbed us of it. We robbed ourselves of it because we allowed our freedom to be replaced with fear.
It is really dreadful to take a peek into the past and assess the amount of times I allowed some force or factor to steal a memory that invited me to partake in its adventure.
A deep lesson I’ve discovered in the past year is the simple one of “just do it.”
In the times I didn’t do it, these were the culprits that held me back –
I procrastinated on completing applications that could have unlocked a treasury of new friendships and fun-filled stories. I squandered opportunities to use my full potential and instead of being the best student/employee/leader I could be, I did just enough to get by. I avoided gray areas and confusing issues instead of facing them head on and arming myself with truth. I said no to experiences because I was too scared of stepping on anyone’s toes. I sat at home and sulked in my disappointment instead of getting out and doing what I wanted. I gave up my ability to be bold and independent because I placed who I was in the hands of others.
What are you missing out on because one of these things is convincing you that you’re no longer capable of moving forward and enjoying life like you want to?
But let’s take some responsibility. We will only waste more time if we blame others for these wasted years. We get to choose how we respond to setbacks. We choose how to play the cards we’re dealt. We choose whether or not to seek help. We choose how we spend the time we’re given. We choose which things to miss out on and which to say yes to.
And guess what – you still have the choice.
If you want an adventure, stop waiting for someone to invite you on a trip. Book your flight; pack your bags. If you want to be a better writer, write. If you want to make a career change, start brainstorming and putting into action the how, when, and where.
You get to choose your priorities. Do the thing you keep dreaming, wanting, and talking about doing. Much of the time, that requires a decision on our parts to tend to the nitty gritty details that we are so expert at saving for another day. Execution of the plan requires effort.
Do I advocate for throwing all wisdom and discretion out the window? No, of course not. There are delicate decisions for which we must apply patience and discernment before we make the next move.
But there’s too many things we just don’t get done. We settle for less when we continue to put it off for another day, complain about how we haven’t done it, and then spend time on other priorities that drown out the dream.
If you cringe when you consider the times you missed out on something, please don’t think it’s over.
Please don’t wait until things are your version of perfect before you act.
Just do it.