After college, I moved back in with my parents for a year. And during that time, I couldn’t wait to find my own apartment and move out. I was dreaming of the day when I had the keys to a place of my own. The day that Jim would move to Pittsburgh and we’d cook dinners together in the kitchen and hang our pictures on the wall and make friends with the upstairs neighbors.
We found that apartment, but it was mostly me cooking dinners and we didn’t make friends with any neighbors.
We’d lived in the apartment for almost two years and then we started thinking about a house of our own. We watched HGTV obsessively and dreamed of space to entertain, quartz countertops, a guest bedroom, and most of all, a garage.
We bought that house, and we ended up with everything on our wish list and more.
Once we moved into the house, it was time to focus on the wedding. I dreamed of candlelit centerpieces and silver sashes around white chair covers and the perfect photo of a last kiss as the sun set over the country club.
We planned the most fantastic wedding, complete with wine bottle centerpieces, wine cork place cards, and a summer sunset as our guests danced and drank the night away.
So now we’re married, we live in our beautiful house, we cook our dinners together, we’re planning to someday hang the pictures on the walls, we’ve had friends over to stay in our guest bedroom and we hosted a small 4th of July get-together in our backyard.
We’ve gotten everything we’ve ever wanted. So what’s next?
In thinking back on everything and writing it down, I almost want to feel guilty for always looking ahead, always wondering what’s on the other side. I’ve stopped myself sometimes and asked myself if this means I don’t appreciate what’s going on right now. Does it mean I’m not living in the moment? Am I not cherishing what’s right in front of me? Am I being selfish?
But I’ve always stopped myself from thinking that. I don’t believe that I’ve skimmed ahead through these chapters of my life looking for the happy ending. I know that I have truly, wholeheartedly loved every minute of the journey leading up to these big moments. I have taken many steps back throughout my life to look at a good thing and soak it all in. I know, without a doubt, that I have lived each moment, however fleeting they have seemed.
I think that it’s human nature, maybe in some people more than others, to always be looking for the next big thing. It’s fun to plan for something spectacular. It feels amazing to know that there is a great big awesome thing about to happen. The excitement and anticipation is the journey, and the journey is the best.
When we get too complacent with where we are right now, life just seems a little boring. We need something to plan for, something to dream about, something wonderful just on the horizon. It’s a balancing act, between enjoying the moment you’re in and looking forward to the things ahead. It takes some mindful practice to be able to sit and look around and say “this is perfect, right here, right now” and also plan for big life changes.
For each big moment in my life so far, I have fallen into it, hard and fast and to the fullest extent. I have been consumed by these things and I’ve loved every minute.
When we were thinking about buying a house, we watched every single episode of House Hunters, House Hunters International, Property Brothers, Design on a Dime, and, begrudgingly, Love It or List It (worst HGTV show ever). I followed Pinterest boards on how to decorate and organize houses, and I read articles on how to fix anything and everything, and I memorized Buzzfeed life hacks, and I pored over Zillow and Trulia every day, even though they have the same houses listed.
All this is not to say that I didn’t love my apartment life. Jim and I had a lot of fun living downtown and we have some really great memories.
Another example – I didn’t just plan a wedding. I followed every blog on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, I subscribed to emails, I entered contests to win honeymoons, I researched and researched until I could probably write the next issue of Brides magazine, and then I put everything I found on one of my 20 wedding Pinterest boards and one of my five color-coded spreadsheets.
At the same time, I loved being engaged. I loved having a fiance. I never wanted it to end.
But in short, I become infatuated with my “next big thing.” I love the moment that I am in and I love to breathe it in and experience every second, but I am also obsessed with the anticipation and the promise of a good thing waiting just around the corner.
Again, you’re likely asking, what’s next?
You’ll just have to wait and see… 😉