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  • Writer's pictureCalvin

Cookie Cutter

Back then, when I was growing up, I always imagined my life to come out perfectly, like the ones that are seen in movies and television dramas, all filled with excitement. I’d find the girl of my dreams, marry, save up for a nice house in the suburbs, have kids (probably two) and maybe even a friendly dog to boot. Of course, there will be the pre-requisite generic challenges and struggles that I need to go through like any good movie will show you. But as the hero in my story, I will inevitably overcome it all and then I will be happily ever after for all of eternity!

Of course, as we all know, life is not that ideal and perfect the way we see it depicted in movies or in social media. Not every experience flows seamlessly. Not every scene has a clear purpose and moves the storyline in an intentional fashion. Nope.

Life is kind of meandering at times. Progress forward is most often for most people not a straight line upwards, shooting towards the moon like a rocket ship with no intention of returning back to Earth. For most people I bet, it is squiggly lines that go up and down, left and right, over and under, and basically all over the place. Sometimes moving forward. Sometimes moving backwards. Sometimes moving side-to-side! Basically, all over the place.

As I’ve slowly grown up and gotten older, I realize that most of my experiences in life are nowhere near the dramatic filled moments that we expect our lives to be. Most of the stuff I do is actually, well, quite mundane and not that extraordinary. I meditate, exercise, cook, clean, work, brush my teeth, make my bed, make some coffee, socialize with friends, families, and loved ones, and go on the occasional trip out of New York City. Although not in that particular order that I just listed. Rinse and repeat, over and over again.

Sometimes, I’ll get interrupted by the most random things. Sometimes I’ll get frustrated by the most seemingly innocuous things. My mind can wander all over the place at times and it’s up to me to reign it back in – for lack of better words.

I talk to many of my close friends and acquaintances and quite honestly, none of their lives are perfect cookie cutters and none of them are living in eternal bliss. I do admit that some of them do actually have a house in the suburbs and do have multiple kids running around their house as well, which I do admire and wholeheartedly respect. However, I know for a fact that their lives are not perfect neither and they too go through the inevitable challenges and curveballs that pop up in life.

No one has it that easy in life. Everyone goes through some sort of strife, struggle, and suffering in their lives – whether it be mental, physical, financial, emotional, or social. It’s not easy out there, no matter how much external stuff that we accumulate throughout our years of existence.

My business has been doing relatively well so far, which I am wholeheartedly grateful for. I have a wonderful family, friends, loved ones, and support group. I am relatively healthy mentally and physically. And I live in a wonderful community that has given me so much throughout these years.

But even with all that, I am the first to realize that my life is far from perfect as well. There are still times when I fall into anxiety or negative thinking or ruminate about the unchangeable past. There are still times when I argue with loved ones and my mind wanders towards stupid thoughts that I would prefer not to think about.

It’s a constant evolution and no matter how hard we try, we will never live up to the expectations that are placed upon us on social media or in these epic television dramas or movie trilogies. Just appreciate these platforms for what they are – entertainment meant to keep you hooked and drawn to the never-ending drama of a story.

It’s fine to watch of course. It’s fine to follow for your pleasure and entertainment. And movies and social media do have tremendous power that we can use for healthy growth and learnings. But again, just realize that movies and these marketing depictions that see everywhere are not indicative with how real life really is.

That cookie cutter image of the guy or girl who works hard and eventually has it all, and then lives in peace and harmony forever and ever is (I’m sorry to break it to you) non-existent. It doesn’t hurt to dream but dreams are not the same as reality. And I say that with solace and comfort. I’ve learned to accept that my life won’t be the ideal story that people expect. And that’s fine. Nobody’s story is that ideal.

Figure it out for yourself and prepare to go through this beautiful journey of a life with some bumps and bruises, but with all that said, it is still one that is worth cherishing and soaking in for all its unexpectedness.

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