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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

The perfect time is never coming

Stop waiting for timing that doesn’t exist


By YASMEEN O’BRIEN — yjobrien@ucdavis.edu


When I was in fourth grade, my dad got me a brand new pair of PF Flyers. They were the most pristine thing I had ever seen. They were the classics: all black with the logo in green, just like the ones Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez wore in “The Sandlot.” After staring at them for a bit, I put the shoes back in the box.

Most days after school, I would open up this box and look at them — making sure they were still there, still pristine, still Benny-like, still mine. I had begged my dad for a year to buy them for me before he finally caved, and yet all I did was stare at them. I would imagine myself wearing them on the playground and how cool I’d feel and how many compliments I’d get. 

But every morning that I got ready for school felt too ordinary. And these were no ordinary shoes. I was waiting for the right time to wear them to the right place with the right outfit. To make a long story short, these perfect conditions never happened. They never existed. I made them up because I was scared of ruining them — or maybe ruining the idea of them in my head. 

I grew out of them before I ever wore them and, boy, do I wish I had. I wish I could say they had been worn, loved and used, like they were supposed to. But all I can say is that they were loved. 

Sometimes when we love something so much, we don’t know what to do with that love. We don’t always know how to act on it and really experience it. I believe this is similar to the way we treat our hopes and dreams. We have all these things we want to experience or accomplish, but we sabotage ourselves with this false notion of the “perfect time.” It’s an idea we create in our heads because we’re scared of failure or rejection.

Sitting around and waiting for the “perfect time” actually just wastes the time we do have. Perfection is silly. The beauty of humans is that we are imperfect. We have flaws and sometimes things don’t go according to plan, but at least we try. Things are never going to be perfect, because that’s not how life works. Life is messy and wild and non-linear, so there’s no point in waiting. Really, there’s no time to.

Want to travel the world? Start saving up, researching and making plans. Want to write a story? Write it now. Pick up a pen and paper or start typing. Want to apply for that big job? Go for it. You might be surprised by the fruit that is borne simply from your effort and attention. Don’t waste your time waiting.

There is no time like the present to do the things you want to do. Taking big leaps is always going to be scary, but that’s the beauty of it. There is strength in overcoming that fear. Take a chance on yourself, you’ll probably find that you’re stronger and wiser than you think.


Written by: Yasmeen O’Brien — yjobrien@ucdavis.edu


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual columnists belong to the columnists alone and do not necessarily indicate the views and opinions held by The California Aggie.