One of the things that my childhood best friend and I used to do a lot was to dress up in the same clothes. Our moms would buy us the same t-shirts or the same dresses in different colors, as if to say to the world, “Yea, we hang together.” There was one time though when our moms bought us Minnie Mouse t-shirts, but whereas my friend’s mom let her wear it right away, mine was stored in my mom’s closet for a long time. In fact, it was so long that by the time I wore the ‘brand new’ t-shirt, my friend was already using it as PJs.
I think generally it’s a good value to teach kids to wait vis-à -vis instant gratification or self-indulgence. The problem is when that mentality bleeds into the realms of dreams, ambition, and pursuit.
In my mid-twenties I’ve realized that many times I’m still trapped in that ‘save the best for last’ mentality, relics from my childhood past. I’d buy something nice or mildly indulgent, and store it and wait until the perfect day and time to finally use it, be it a nice towel , a journal, bath gels, etc. Usually they are in the personal items category. What happens most of the time is that I forget about them, so there they are, nicely stored, unused.
While those things are not that deep, I find myself using the same mentality when I think about certain dreams or things I want to do in life. Things like writing a book, going on mission trips, or going to exotic vacation trips. Somehow there’s a guilt-tripping voice in my head that says, those good things are for one day, one non-descript time in the future, when everything’s perfect.
It’s only relatively recently that I started questioning those voices, and shutting them up, pretty much. What is this ‘one perfect day’? Am I to wait until I’m old and have backaches to start enjoying life? No. Way.
So I am going to write a book. This year, for real. I am going to go on mission trips (which I did last year and will do it again many more times). And I am going to Paris this summer. Some good things are for now, and there’s no need to wait.