“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.” - Soren Kierkegaard
What does it mean to “romanticize” something?
The definition of the word that Google provides is to, “deal with or describe in an idealized or unrealistic fashion; make (something) seem better or more appealing than it really is.” It seems that the internet envelops the term in a rather negative connotation and categorizes it into a realm of imagination.
In reality, romanticizing something is closely related with the concept of gratitude. We express gratitude to one another in so many different ways – from practicing love languages as humans to simply saying, “Thank you.” Humanity even expresses gratitude towards the mistakes we make and the lessons we learn from them, but the mistake we fail to realize is not appreciating the little moments in life.
I used to be a victim of taking life for granted. I was, what parents would call, the “troublemaker” in the family. I wanted to be exposed to social life at a young age. I wanted to speed up time so I was at the age where I could make my own decisions and escape the grasp of my parents’ “dictation.” It’s quite funny to look back at how badly my younger self wanted to grow up. My selfish desire to quickly become an independent woman caused me to let my childhood slip by. It was a mistake to not cherish the innocence of being a child, yet it was a lesson that allowed me to practice romanticizing life later on.
It’s easy to recognize the fun in major forms of entertainment. This can range from going out with friends, eating and trying new foods, or even celebrating special occasions with loved ones. I personally will always remember the nights where my friends and I are hunched over laughing as we try our best to catch our breaths. I have experiences where I wished I could live in a certain moment forever, dreading it to become just another memory. There is beauty in these exhilarating times, but there is also beauty in every second of life that we live. Romanticize the tasks you complete in your daily routine. Romanticize the people you meet and talk to throughout your day. Don’t be afraid to apply this concept to the shift at work you don’t want to attend, or even to the class that you absolutely dislike. Sometimes, the things we don’t like doing are the most impactful as it directs us into the course of our lives that we are destined to follow.
Romanticizing your routine includes defining your actions with a purpose. Your sense of purpose does not need to be approved by anyone but yourself. As long as YOU feel like you did something because there was purpose to the action, you have already achieved gratitude.
When you begin to appreciate all the little things in your life, your perspective changes and you’re able to welcome an open mindset. We can recognize the mistake of taking life for granted. Maybe then, you'll carry less regret for letting a moment pass by so carelessly. The memories will shift from a sadden nostalgic feeling to an expression of gratitude knowing you romanticized the moment as much as you could.
The word we can derive from “romanticizing” is “romance.” Fall in love with yourself. Fall in love with life.