I’m a dreamer. I like to dream about my future- what it might look like one day. In my perfect fantasy, I’m twenty-three and good looking. I’m happily married to my favorite six foot, dark haired, man of my dreams. I’m hugging and kissing my two-year old sandy-haired, blue eyed baby boy while lightly rubbing my tummy because baby number two is on the way! I run my own small business on Etsy while my six foot, dark-haired man of my dreams is off to work for the day. The next morning I wake up to breakfast in bed from my six foot, dark-haired man of my dreams. The sun shines perfectly through the windows, illuminating my perfect sun-kissed skin. Man-of-my-dreams climbs back into bed for morning snuggles and kisses my baby belly good morning. Just then our sandy-haired, blue eyed baby boy comes running in the room, jumps on the bed and joins our perfect family moment.
So right about now you’re either thinking I’m crazy or you’re fantasizing your dream future right along with me. My guesses are that you might not even finish this blog post as you’re still stuck in La-La land. But that is just what I think many of young girl’s problems come from- we are stuck in La-La land.
I believe that dreaming is okay. Dreaming can be a good thing even. Dreaming, planning, anticipating your future is basically part of any girl’s DNA. But I also believe that dreaming, planning, and anticipating your future can be very dangerous.
Believe it or the “Perfect Family Moment” fantasy is just one of my many common thought out fantasies. Some of my other favorites include my wedding day, future careers, school, or even the popular “living with my best friend in an apartment in NYC” fantasy. Like I said, these fantasies aren’t wrong in any way. But when we become so caught up in our fantasies, that we neglect to realize the fantasy you already live in, it becomes a problem.
Now you may be thinking, “fantasy I already live in? Yeah right. I’m not living a fantasy”. But I challenge you that you are. Remember when you were ten years old moseying down the hallway at school when all of a sudden a high schooler walked by- a high schooler!!! Your ten year-old mind was amazed. “Oh my gosh! A high schooler! They must be so smart! And they can drive! I can’t wait to be them someday!”. But now it’s your junior year of high school and there you are, half-asleep in your math class wishing you could simply be a kid again. That’s how it always works. We always want something we can’t have. “When I finally get to that next step, I’ll be happy for sure. When I finally achieve that goal, I’ll be satisfied. When I finally have that thing I’ve been saving up for, then I’ll have enough.” We are never satisfied with the here-and-now. But as my great friend, Christina Cain, says “There is no ‘there’. There is only ever ‘here’. You’re saying they’re ‘there’ but they’re saying they’re ‘here’. They think you’re ‘there’ but you think you’re ‘here’”. Now that’s a mouthful but basically what that means is that everyone wants something they already have. And if that’s still too confusing try this- Stop fantasizing about your future and start appreciating your present.
But how are you supposed to appreciate your present when your present has you as a broke college student living off Ramen and three hours of sleep. Am I right?! Thankfully I’m writing this as a broke college student living off Ramen and three hours of sleep- I understand. It’s really hard to appreciate your three hour monday morning class, your ten page essay, and your freezing cold dorm room (that always seems to have a funky smell no matter how many Febreze you use) when all you’re dreaming about is living in an apartment in the city with your best friend, grocery shopping together for all your favorite foods, double dating those hot twins in your Chem class, and having Netflix marathons in super cute PJs while grubbing down an extra cheese pizza.
So where do all these fantasies come from anyways? I believe we get most of our unrealistic dreams from none other than Social Media. Yes I know, Social Media seems to be all of our problems now-a-days. But think with me for a second. How many times do you see “Share this with someone you want to do this with”, or “Tag your best friend”, or my personal favorite, “GOALS”.
These pictures are the things we are constantly tagging our friends in, commenting on, and replying with “goals”. Once again, there is nothing wrong with these pictures or wanting to be like them. But you shouldn’t get caught up in them. The season of life you are in right now is exactly where God has called you to be. Re-read that sentence. Now focus on the word “called”. Yes, God has called you to be where you are in this moment. Just as He has called you to everything else, He has called you “here”. This is your “here”. Your job is to make opportunity of it. Don’t take advantage of your “here” by dreaming it away. You will not find happiness is the next stage of your life. You will only find happiness in where God has called and placed you- the here-and-now.
So how are you supposed to appreciate your “here-and-now” when everything around you is pushing you towards your next step? Well in Proverbs 4:23, God tells us to “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life”. This verse is commonly used in regards of guarding your heart and your mind from the things you watch, listen to, and participate in. And that’s so true and important. But just as I believe it is important to guard your heart, I als believe it is important to guard your dreams. We guard our dreams by considering the things watch, listen to, and participate in – including those viral social media posts. Like I said, they’re not wrong or “sinful” but I challenge you to consider whether or not you’re getting too caught up chasing those “goals”.
That’s super hard to do, I admit, considering they’re everywhere. But it happened to me just this morning (which is what inspired this blog post). I spend a lot of time watching YouTube videos- specifically lifestyle, beauty, and fashion vlogs. For those of you who don’t know, a vlog is like a blog but in the form of a video -hence vlog. This morning, though, I was watching a vlog made by a young girl who was married with a newborn. She was simply going about her day with her husband and her baby doing everyday tasks. She was talking about her day and whatever came to her mind- which was mostly all about her husband and her baby. There’s nothing wrong with that at all! But then I began to covet everything she had. Well not everything- just the husband and baby part. Her vlog was causing me to desire that stage of my life. That’s literally all I could think about and cue the opening scene of this blog post. But then I was convicted. That is not where God has called me to be right now. Someday, yes. But today, He has called me to be a nineteen year old girl working a summer job so she can afford to go back to college next year. Sometimes it hard for me to accept that. But I know that I should be content no matter what stage of life I may be in. And I knew if I continued to watch the vlog, it would only become harder and harder for me to be happy where I am right now. So sadly as hard as it was, I turned the vlog off.
What is it in your life that would help you appreciate your “here-and now” by simply eliminating it? Guard your heart, guard your dreams, guard your “goals”. Next time you catch yourself dreaming and fantasizing, don’t let it go too far. Appreciate your here-and-now. Find happiness where you are in this moment instead of wishing you were somewhere else because after all- there is only here and here is where God has called you to be.