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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CUA chapter.

I recently bought a book on Amazon. A sticker book. It was a Christmas present for myself. Dozens of pages full of gorgeous stickers. As soon as it arrived in the mail, I flipped through the pages looking through every sticker. The book was botanical themed, so most of the stickers had a feminine, floral theme, and I thought every sticker was gorgeous. Too gorgeous to put anywhere. 

So, I closed up the book and set it on my bookshelf. I thought I would eventually find a surface worthy of those stickers one day, but until then, I would let the book hang out in my room, untouched. Untouched, and collecting dust. 

After a couple days of that book sitting there, I realized I had done this same thing with many different items. For my sixteenth birthday, I received a huge pack of expensive colored pencils. I admired them from afar but put them away in my art drawers. I continued to use my cheap pencils because I didn’t think any of my drawings were worth using the expensive materials for. 

I’ve missed out on great experiences with friends because I couldn’t justify spending forty dollars on dinner. I apparently have no issue dropping forty dollars on a new sweatshirt, so I’ve come to realize that maybe it isn’t about the money for me; it’s what I’ve decided to give priority to in my life.

I haven’t allowed my regular day water bottle to carry a fun flower sticker. I haven’t allowed my sketches to be made with top tier pencils. I haven’t placed quality experiences over forty dollars in fear that I’ll run out of money. But where has any of that gotten me so far? Who decides what’s worth it and what’s not? Why have I continually shrugged off good experiences in hopes a better,  more worthwhile one comes along? 

This realization did not come to me in one sitting. It’s taken time, missed opportunities, and regrets through my entire life to realize that I’ve been choosing to miss out. I’ve allowed fear of the future to hold me back. 

This new year, I want to make it a goal to be more present and enjoy the little things about life that bring me joy. I want to stop beating myself up about spending a bit of money to go to a concert or to enjoy a meal with my friends because the money will come back to me, but I will never get the chance to be a twenty year old college student in D.C. with my best friends again. I want to take the opportunities as they come. 

Now, that’s not to say that everyone should throw around their spending money like it’s nothing, but money can be earned back. Experiences cannot. You can buy another pack of stickers, but you’re never going to see them if you don’t use them.

 Needless to say, my stickers now cover most of my everyday belongings because I’m choosing to make everyday worthy of beauty. I’ve learned I need to start using the expensive pencils. Using the stickers. Spending my money. Enjoying my life. Not sitting around waiting for a day I deem as worthy of living to actually live. 

(P.S., If you want to start using your stickers like me, here is the book I’ve been loving lately.)

Ryn is a sophomore English and Media and Communication Studies double major at The Catholic University of America.