There are nights when your friends ask you to go out for dinner or a movie and you answer without hesitating: Absolutely. Then of course, there are the nights when someone asks what you’re up to and you tell them something along the lines of this Harry Potter gif:
So what do you do about the times when you really have no idea what you want… Say yes and miss out on this. Or say no and miss out on that. Whether it’s your grades or a fun night or even just good company, it’s a bit of a toss up right?
For the last week, I have been trying to find a balance within that toss up, between working almost forty hours and cramming for two finals and an essay, among other things. Did I hesitate to say yes in going out with my old team last night, while staying up with them till three am in the process, knowing I had another full shift today?
No I did not.
But should I have?
I’m not sure. Because between my grades, very little sleep, a long shift, and one final still to go, I have to figure out what is more worth it to me and make that a priority. As I think most of us understand, figuring out priorities isn’t the easiest thing.
Take spending money for example— sometimes when you’re really just craving Thai food or you see an outfit that you cannot pass up, you decide that you want to spend the money and go for it. But even as I tend to do that on occasion, I still hesitate and think, at least for a moment, that maybe I should save my money.
What if I need it tomorrow and that’s the exact amount I needed?
What if I get home to realize someone else already bought the food and wants to share.
What if I wear the outfit out and actually hate it, so I never wear it again?
What if I should use my money to put into my retirement fund instead? Unlikely, but still a possible thought.
It’s a risk and reward type of situation, and it comes down to the decision of what’s best. The difference is whether or not what you consider “for the best” is in the moment or in the long run.
Maybe it can be both.
Because we can bring this back to my work schedule, catching up with friends last night, and knowing I worked today, while still deciding to… Go for it. Was it worth it?
Absolutely. As much as people and sometimes I like to say “GPA is forever,” my GPA isn’t always the best company. Especially if it’s so low that it can’t even pick me up if I needed it to. In the long run, my grades probably won’t be what I remember, nor will the amount of hours I worked or the time I spent studying.
What I want to remember are the nights like last night, the people who are worth my time, the fun that I have to remind myself I deserve, and the moments that I get to slow down in for a little bit. Even when I don’t think there’s time.
That’s probably the best time to make some.
When it comes to risk and reward, only risk it if it’s for you and you alone— risk it for your success, your happiness, your youth, your love. Risk it for your life. Because your life is worth the good that comes next.
The reward of having lived fully, not holding yourself back, and remembering that you’re the real priority in this, that the good. And you deserve that.
See you all on Tuesday for another Poetry Place, here’s to another summer weekend.