I saw a quote recently that said, “the secret to having it all is knowing you already do.” At marinated happily at first, in the idea of being content with where I am right now, with what I have, with who I am. The more I thought, however, the idea of contentment felt threatening to all the ways I define myself. Contentment feels stagnant, quiet, boring even.
If “having it all” is defined by contentment, I don’t want any part of it.
Having it all is such a diverse, ambiguous idea that I question why people even talk about it so much. What is worthless to you might be valuable to someone else and vice versa. For some, it might be the corner office at work, while for others it might be a roof over their heads. The ability to have children or just a quiet evening at home on the couch. The perfect engagement ring, or getting 100 likes on the Instagram of the proposal.
Before you get caught up in the question of whether you can have it all, perhaps consider the greater, more important question of whether you should have it all.
If you actually “have it all,” what do you have left to work for? If your goals are so quantifiable that you achieve absolutely every single one, then you no longer have room to grow or move forward.
To me, having it all seems like a point at which you reach the end of the road, the final moment where you can just coast or call it quits. Coasting might be tempting, but I know ultimately it’s not for me.
The truth is, having it all isn’t what’s going to make me happy in the long term. It’s being it all that brings real satisfaction. Moving and learning and growing to the point at which I can be proud of myself, my work, my life. The corner, the happily family, the Merlot on a Tuesday night are all a part of the dream for sure. But that’s not where it ends for me. I don’t know what the end looks like, and frankly, I don’t want to, because I resent the idea that I’ll ever “have” everything. But I do want to look back and know that I have been everything that I could.