This is your life now

By Sierra Sivertson

My roommate has a sign above the sink that reads, “It is what it is, but it will become what you make it.”

I moved into this apartment during a particularly hard time in my life. I graduated from college in April and took the first job I was offered. I didn’t know anyone in Pocatello, leaving me alone and depressed.

I spent a lot of my free time talking to a friend and complaining about this situation of my own making. But every time I complained, I was met with “Suck it up because this is your life now.”

“This is your life now” kept replaying in my head. I knew that to accept my life I was going to have to make some serious changes.

Changes in my life and changes in myself.

When I moved into this apartment, I had only been in Pocatello for two months. My last roommate had decided to get married almost immediately after I moved in, so my whole living situation had been very temporary.

The Land of Temporary isn’t a good place to live your life. When things appear temporary, I avoid putting down roots and making friends. I don’t even fully unpack. Those things were true in this situation.

During my two months here, I had made one friend. Thankfully, this friend had an extra bedroom and the desire for a little more money, so I moved in.

I was still dealing with all the feelings of uncertainty and sadness that overwhelmed me on a daily basis, but I felt hopeful. And when I walked into the kitchen and saw her sign above the sink, I knew it was time to take responsibility for my life.

Now, two quotes come to mind when I’m having a particularly rough time: “This is your life now” and “It is what it is, but it will become what you make it.”

They say that life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it. It’s definitely cliché and really overused, but I think it’s overused because it’s so true.

I didn’t like my life. I was in a situation I didn’t want to be in. OK, so now what? Whether I liked it or not, it was my life and I had to figure out how to like it.

I wish I had some magical formula to share with you. I wish I had a step-by-step process that helped me accomplish this shift in attitude because I know I’m not the only one who faces the question of “What have I done?” on a regular basis. That’s part of life, I guess, and I don’t have an easy fix.

But when I realized that this was my life and I was in control of what it looked like, everything changed.

I was lonely and I felt like I was in transition. But I didn’t want those things. So I started committing to things and putting down roots. I stopped living like Pocatello was just the first stop on a very long journey. I stopped living like this was a temporary place.

I don’t know what trials or hardships you’re facing. I don’t know how you’re feelings about your situation. But I do know this: When you start taking responsibility for how you feel, you start to feel a whole lot better. You might not be in control of your situation, but you can be in control of how you feel about it.

It sounds trite and a little too easy. That’s probably why I brushed this advice off for so long. But people give you this advice over and over because it works.

So, I have just one question for you: This is your life now. What are you going to do with it?

Sierra Sivertson graduated from BYU-Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in English. She is a copy editor and page designer at the Idaho State Journal.