A letter to the unsatisfied

The present is everything. It is self-discovery that comes through trial, error, self-love, friendship, falling and getting back up. Photo by wavebreakmedia | Depositphotos.com

To my fellow Unsatisfied, 

We are an insatiable species. 

If we have blonde hair, we want brown. If we have a house, we want a nicer one. If we travel to Florida, we wish we could go to Europe. 

Many nuanced moments throughout our lifetimes display our unwillingness to be content. It feels as if we are all striving for the next best thing, even if we do not know what it is. 

The American Dream has been our default since we were children. A culture of hard work that, hopefully, one day it pays off. This mindset of working for the next best thing has seeped into the zeitgeist and affects how we live day by day. 

Struggling with living in the present and being satisfied with it can be linked to mental health issues like depression and anxiety. The disassociation and overthinking that happens is wildly alarming and almost unavoidable. 

We also have a fear of being alone. As human beings, our brains are designed to form connections. The unsatisfied, however, struggle with this fundamental truth.

If we connect with others, it’s incredible. When we miss social cues, it’s demoralizing. When these connections fail, we place our actual connective needs with connections made on a device. 

We think the social media aspect of our lives fills the void, but we find ourselves anything but fulfilled. Whether with our image, friendships or social skills, social media never seems to be what we are after. If anything, it makes you feel more lonely. 

As students, we are in so many different stages. Some are in the best years of their lives, while others take their first step towards the future. Many of us are going through the wringer. There are so many external factors that play a role in our “satisfaction” or quality of life. 

Understanding that there is balance in focusing on the past, present and future is vital in satiating what we feel is missing. We can not change the past. 

We can only reflect on it. We are constantly learning and growing away from it. Holding ourselves to who we were ten years ago, five years ago or even last month is not plausible.

Focusing on the future is so easy to do. We are students who are leaning into our careers, relationships and first tastes of real adult life. Planning every step of the way can create ease for a moment until the anxiety sets in. 

“Can I live up to it?” The answer is, a lot of times, no. So many external factors can come into play that affects the path we take. Remember to trust the journey. 

It’s called the present because it is a gift. The present is everything. It is self-discovery that comes through trial, error, self-love, friendship, falling and getting back up. That’s life. 

Wreak havoc. Get mad. Be unsatisfied with unjust things. But also, take deep breaths. Look around you. Laugh. Be present. Be content.