In high school, we had a coach who always said: you can have it all, but not at the same time. As an impulsive, impatient 18-year-old, her advice drove me nuts. Having it all in intervals isn’t really having it all, I’d think.
Last week, I tossed and turned in bed, wondering if I’ll ever master the balance of this life. Will I ever set the right boundaries? Will I ever feel like there is enough time and sleep in my life? I felt stressed as I thought through my impending commitments, wondering if I’d get everything done. Suddenly, her words popped into my head: you can have it all, but not at the same time.
It hit me then that it is about pace. It’s not about yes or no, but, instead, about now or later.
It took me 12 years (+ some therapy) to finally understand what she meant. You can have all of your hopes and dreams, but they have to happen in intervals. I can freelance, grow The Letter Project, write a book and start a family – but not all at once. I can do some of them in July, some in October and, heck, some of them in a few years. It can all happen, but it can’t all happen at the same time. Because you only have so many hours each day.
Her advice was less about giving things up and, instead, about patience and hard work. It's about picking what is most important today and what can wait until tomorrow. It’s about trusting that some dreams happen in a microwave and some in a slow cooker. As much as we want instant success and growth, it doesn't always happen that way. But the ones that take longer? They're almost always worth waiting for. In and in the meantime, the best thing we can do is trust we're exactly where we need to be right now and, when the time is right, we'll find the way to where we're going.