Early on in life, my parents began molding my understanding of need versus want. Raised in a blue-collar family, I knew from the start that (unfortunately) needs must come before wants, and most days the money well is too dry to supply the wants.
At the start of my teenage years, I quickly made flyers and began interviewing for babysitting jobs. By age 15 when I legally could attain employment permits, I had already been working for two years. Despite this, I found myself continually paying for needs over wants, promising myself that as an adult it would be different.
After pursuing and completing my college degree, fresh with the advertised dream that higher education would lead to success, I began my career. By the time I reached 7 years in one industry, the comparison between my paycheck and my hard work in college was disheartening and felt like outright betrayal. Despite signing the loans and balancing full-time work and college, I was still living in a world of “need”.
Fast forwarding to today, nothing and everything has changed. While working a full-time and part-time job I am attaining my master’s degree. My days are filled with more needs and less wants with every passing year, ignorant to my once hopeful teenage dreams of adulthood.
Yet, everything has changed. I now live a life filled with wants, while consequently fulfilling my needs. Regardless of being composed of human flaws like most, everything changed because one thing changed: my perspective.
Days are still filled with the endless juggling of bills and income. Weeks are brimming with work instead of enjoyment and passion. And weekends see stacks of academic books, research articles, and dried up highlighters eating up the precious few “free” hours we are given weekly.
But it’s enough. I’m enough. My blessings are more than enough.
Taking a step back from the increasingly selfish ways of modern society, I take time to appreciate everything; everything we have is enough.
The determined and blooming flower on my front steps that has bravely weathered storms, heat waves, and her owner’s forgetful ways of providing her with water. The sing-song melodies of my pets welcoming me home after a day filled with work, stress, and commuting. The sleepy smile my guy gives me upon waking up, lining my day with promise and hope. The shining sun, the fresh air, the near-but-far chirps of nature unfolding the day.
If we take time to give thanks for the hidden blessings and beauties that line our days (but are often overcast by negativity, wants, and feelings of inadequacy) our world is suddenly transformed.