Just Wanna-ing: The Danger Of Longing For Things

I hear it a lot. I just wanna be travelling. I just wanna be sleeping (what up, Monday mornings at work). I just want it to be the weekend. I just wanna fall in love. I just wanna be not here. I say it too, when I’m exhausted and I miss home: “I just wanna be home with my family”. I say it when I’m finally at home with my family and I miss my Spanish life: “I just wanna be tapa hopping around Madrid”. I say it when I’m missing my long distance boyfriend: “I just wanna be with him for the weekend”.

Sometimes, these thoughts can be good. They grant recognition of what is important to you or what you’re dreaming of. They could be about missing something or someone. Or maybe you’ve been daydreaming about backpacking Europe and you just wanna be in the Pyrenees mountains already. These things are nice to know. They show us things we miss and things we desire.

But, at some point, you have to stop wanna-ing and start doing. It’s a cop out, honestly. It’s a sentence that holds no responsibility or demands. There is no action involved. I’ve started to tell myself to calm down and shut up when I hear too many of these a day. Pity parties are nice and we all need to throw one every once in a while. However, there’s a point whenvyou need to learn to either accept your situation or take steps to change it. Sometimes we can’t change it. In those moments, it’s important to focus on the good things and invest your time there. That’s hard and takes actual work, which many people don’t want to deal with. Pity parties are easier (and can be tastier since they often involve ice cream).

I’m fully aware that I live in a different country, away from many of my friends, family, and boyfriend. I made the choice to be here and often reevaluate my decision. Trust me, there is a list of reasons why I’d like to be home. But, there are things I want to do here in Spain. I’ve thought about it and weighed my options more than you can probably imagine. It was never a decision I took lightly. I wanted a second year with my students, to improve as a teacher, to travel more, and to improve my Spanish. The list continues. For the past couple years, my desire for Spain outweighed my want to be close to the people I care about and my interest in working stateside.

That list is what goes through my mind when all I can focus on is just wanna-ing to be in my hometown, on my parents couch with my friends, and eating home cooked meals. It’s what I have to remember when I see my best friends hanging out together without me because I live 3,000 miles away and short trips are all but impossible.

Time and hard work will likely give you what you “just wanna be” doing, but if you waste all your time just wanna-ing, you miss out on the currently happening. For you, it could be time to reevaluate everything you ‘just wanna’ do. Are they really things you want? Are you willing to transition from words to actual actions? If you’re not, maybe it’s time to stop daydreaming about things you’re not willing to work for and start focusing on the amazing things going on around you.

I’ve recently reevaluated and decided to move to New Jersey next year and find work, instead of staying another year in Spain. That list I had of things to do in Spain? I’ve accomplished a lot of them this past year. Now, my desire to be home is greater than the need to stay. It’s a big step for me and it’s going to be really hard. But, after a lot of thinking and talking with friends and family, I realized that my “just wanna-ing” was something more than some words to throw around. Next year, I’m actually gonna be doing what I’ve only wanted to for a while now.

So, yes, there is a danger in longing and just wanting to be doing other things. You could spend all of your days missing what is happening around you. But, with a nice balance and a lot of thinking, maybe just wanna-ing could bring about a new chapter in your life, like it did for me.


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