Strive Issue 7 - Acceptance and growth

By Natalia Foster

“…things don’t have to be perfect to be strong.”

~ Daisy Jones & The Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid

The idea of perfection; something that is seen to bring bliss like no other. I’m unsure about you, dear reader, but a portion of my day can be spent daydreaming about what I wish my life looked like. Whether that be the routine I have, the friends I know, or how I choose to spend my time. And recently, I’ve grown to realise that I can in fact, have that life, or at least a part of it right now.

There are ways to bring your future into the present. Even if those hopes seem to be far off. And that is what I would like to talk about today. How things don’t need to be 100% the way you see them to be strong, stable and something you are content with.

Maybe what’s most important is to accept that things will go wrong from time to time, things may turn out differently to what we initially expected and that’s okay. Recently I have concluded that things will not always play out the way I anticipate they will, but perhaps, that is for the best. For example, I hung out with a friend a couple weeks ago, we had plans to have a picnic on what we assumed would be a wonderful spring day, instead we were met with April showers. Despite that expectation for our day not being met we ended up watching a TV show that we had been meaning to watch for ages. It turned out to be a great day. Small things like a spot of bad weather shouldn’t stop you from turning a situation around. That is crucial to understand for creating the life you want.

But how do you go about turning this fantasy in your mind into reality?

Brick by brick, and slowly but surely. That’s the simple answer. Let me explain with an example. For me, something that I was wishing I did in my perfect life was waking up early enough so that I can read for at least 30 minutes in the morning. So how do I build that into my life? How do I place that first brick? Well, that starts with setting my alarm 5, then 10, then 15 minutes earlier. Each day increasing that available time to make room for reading. And once I’ve laid the foundations it should be easy enough to build the walls, and start reading in that spare time. A habit takes about a month to form, so just like we need cement to hold our buildings in place, being dedicated to the same patterns will help solidify whatever you are aiming for as part of your life.

But what happens when things are harder to implement into our lives? Like where you wish to live, what job you wish to have or the people you surround yourself with? Unfortunately, there isn’t an immediate solution to this. But there are ways to go about it. Is there a way to find a substitute for that thing? Could you find that same joy, peace, or calmness in something else? What steps could you take to achieve that dream or aspect of your life? For instance, in my own future I would like to have the ability to sit down each night with someone and watch an episode or two of a TV show. I may not currently have that other ‘someone’, but it doesn’t mean, that perfect routine can’t start to become part of my current one. We may not have mobility over some aspects of our lives, and that is where acceptance in the unchangeable takes centre stage. But how we chose to spend our time, is completely in our control.

It is good to remember that our perfect life on paper, may not be identical in practice. The trick is finding the happiness in our lives where we least expect to find it and emphasising the things that keep us content.  Life will never be textbook perfect, but things don’t have to be perfect to be strong.

Natalia Foster

About Natalia

Hello! My name is Natalia and I’m an undergraduate at the University of Birmingham, studying psychology. When I’m not analysing the human brain I can be found attending concerts and theatre productions, writing poetry and my very own fantasy novel; Or just curling up with a good book! I have worked on various creative projects, such as producing content for ‘Rocket and Rabbit’ Theatre company, owning a 6 year old blog and am currently writing for a sci-fi/fantasy anthology!

My personal blog:
My poetry/writing account on Instagram: @toallmyghosts
R&RTC Instagram: @rocketandrabbittheatre
My YouTube Channel: featured
Anthology I’m a part of on Instagram: @queersffanthology