My therapist tells me that time is valuable — monetary-wise, sure, but more so on the fact that you have 24 hours in a day and most of it will be spent on doing something you particularly don’t care about.
We’ve all fallen into that cycle of “I must pay rent and utilities, ergo I must work a full-time job.” I’m no exception. I’m very well-aware of the fact that I too, am deeply entrenched in this way of thought. In fact, it’s comfortable. It’s nice to know that there is a steady paycheck coming every two weeks. It’s nice to know exactly how much you’re going to be getting.
But the downside is that you don’t have much time to work on projects you’ve been dreaming of starting (or finishing)!
Take my friend Nick for example.
Nick wants to start up pottery again, but he has no time in his schedule to fit a pottery class. He loves pottery because it calms him and he can focus on just sculpting the clay; instead of worrying about if his clients are going to lose money or not in the market. He tells me, “Oh man, I wish I had enough time to do these things, but I just can’t. I can’t give up work!” So I asked him if there was anything else he could cut out so he could do what he wanted.
“Maybe working out every day?” he said.
Bingo. For you to pursue your passions in life, you have to give up certain things. You might not like it, but for you to grow in the direction you want, you have to make some sacrifices.
And for me, that was relationships.
I’ve given so much time and effort into my previous relationships that it ultimately deteriorated my relationship with friends, family, and I couldn’t do what I wanted to do. It all led to catastrophic failure. On my part and theirs. I took my therapist’s advice and focused on my life. And myself.
And you know what? I’m very glad I did, because I’ve been able to meet some really cool people at photography meetups around New York City, developed a new set of skills, and I’m even learning Spanish on my own (and made some international friends!), and I’m training to run a half-marathon.
I’ll be honest, though. The idea of being alone scared me. And it took some time getting used to — I used to swipe all the time on Tinder and Bumble, and go on a lot of meaningless dates, hooked up with the wrong people… But, as time goes on, you end up becoming okay with being alone. In fact, I sometimes rejoice in the fact that I have no one to take care of except myself!
And after getting rid of all of those dating apps to focus on what I want to do, I feel much more confident about myself and about who I am and what I want.
But what if you have zero time? And you can’t afford to cut anything out from your life?
I’m the wrong person to answer that, but I can say with certainty that you should take a step back and re-evaluate what’s really important in your life. What brings you true pleasure? What is it about this thing that makes you truly happy?
My reasoning is that life is way too short to squander it with things that are completely meaningless to you. Yes, we make sacrifices for success, but what is success without happiness and ownership? Pursue your passions. Be happy. Enjoy life.
For me, that is photography.