DO. Do as much as possible in as little time as possible. What can I do next? What will look the best? What will teach me the most? How can I even out my experiences to make sure I am the most well-rounded version of myself? Who can I impress? What can I do today to impress future employers down the road?
My mentality has been rooted in a compulsive attitude of consuming more experiences. The fear of missing out on the next big thing has propelled me to adding more and more to my life without allowing myself to value my current and previous experiences.
I receive feedback that I have an impressive collection of experiences. That the more I do, the more impressive I am. The more proud people are of me, the more proud I am of myself. The more proud I am of myself the less aware I become of who I am. One of my favorite hobbies is writing and re-writing my resume. I have mastered the formula of convincing others that I have what it takes. I organize and arrange every experience, marketing myself as deserving of an interview, conversation, and position. Or, upon more honest reflection, convincing others, and myself that I am worthy.
But how impressive is an experience if you are unable to process it for its’ lessons and challenges? Where have I allowed myself a space to breathe and acknowledge the experiences I have had? Why do I feel as though I always have to be “doing” to be productive? Is this how we are called to live?
I am exhausted and wholeheartedly convinced this is not what God intends for His children. I was created with passions and values, equipped with skills, called to experience the world around me and to ask questions, given a story, and encouraged to share it as I build relationships. We are called just as much to do and take action as we are to be with ourselves and process the experiences we have. Balance is a theme that seems to resurface in all areas of life.
Living simply is a mindset applicable to much more than tackling material consumption. It is broader than minimizing the possessions we own or removing the superfluous clutter that distracts us from living a meaningful life. To live simply is to simply live. To be and do in balance and in health with the faith that worth comes from something more than the various collections we display.