carpe diem?

Fortunately for me, I’ve had the chance to reconnect with various friends throughout the past few months. One of the comments that I wasn’t expecting was people asking me what happened to my blog, if I was still updating, because I haven’t updated in a while. That touched me, because I didn’t know people actually read my blog.

It’s been a wild few months since I last updated, so here’s the SparkNotes summary of significant events in my life from then:

1) I graduated pharmacy school.

2) I passed my board licensing exams, and am now a full-fledged pharmacist.

3) I am 5 months into my residency, and absolutely loving it. It’s hard work, but it’s good work.

4) I recently upgraded my snowboard boots to the new Empire limited edition Lash by 32:

They use fancy words like heat-molded, but it DOES feel better if not by virtue that they are actually size 9 (whereas my old boots were a bit too big for me at size 9.5).

5) I fell out with EDM music in general (with a few exceptions), and am really feeling ‘chillstep’ type of music.

So it’s definitely been a big few months for me, growing up and figuring out what life is like now that I am finally done school.

I think one of the things I’ve really been thinking about these past few days is the concept of carpe diem, or seizing the day.

On an intellectual level, everyone knows what it means: don’t let opportunities pass by – take advantage of every one of them. We often use it in conversation when we try to tell someone – hey, you should do this! Don’t miss out!

But on a practical level, it is often hard to implement.

I think one of the most common tactics we use to counter our own attempts at carpe diem is the phenomenon of self-justification. I’ve blogged about it before, and it has definitely helped me be more aware of when I am clearly trying to self-justify myself. But essentially, self-justification would be you trying to convince yourself of something. Usually that’s not an issue, but when you’re essentially trying to convince yourself of an excuse for why you’re not trying something new, then that self-justification is definitely hindering your progress.

A lot of times, an opportunity presents itself, and even though we have good intentions of carpe dieming the heck out of that opportunity, our ‘rational’ mind reminds us that maybe we don’t have the time, or the know-how, or the capability, or WHATEVER it is that we need to do it.

We are literally paralyzed with inaction – paralysis by analysis – and next thing you know, the opportunity has passed us by.

literally paralyzed with inaction

One way I’ve been trying to counter this is to say yes to every opportunity. I think there’s a good movie with this premise, where the main character is forced to say yes to everything? I don’t remember.

But for me, I think to myself – life is short. Too short to let opportunities pass me by. Given an opportunity, I probably have the tools to handle it. And even if I don’t have the right tools right now, it doesn’t mean I will never have the right tools: I have a support system – a way to get the right tools. I’m not worried – all of that will come; there is always a way. But this opportunity, it may never come again. Better to say yes, to seize it, and then figure out the rest later because we always figure things out. Better that, than to let this opportunity pass by.

carpe diem, ladies and gentlemen.