I’ve spent a great deal of my life thinking that it was going to end in one way: a simple fulfilling job, marriage, and kids. Not because I thought I had to have all of these things, but because it was all I ever really knew and saw. In my small community that is how things work. No one ever strays from this path, and if they do, they tend to leave the community. Therefore, it took wandering outside my community to really understand the endless possibilities that lie ahead of me.
I can remember being 15 and thinking that falling in love was all I really had to gain from the world. I loved the idea of it more than the actual person I supposedly fell in love with. All the other girls were jealous and I was certain I was living life right. Now I look back at myself and can’t help but laugh and think if I only knew what life had in store for me.
The more times my heart got broken by boys and friends, the more I learned that I wasn’t really living. I was following an exact set-out plan that I assumed all females and perhaps even people, in general, had to follow. Now I sit here writing from a place so entirely different that I can’t even begin to explain how I got here.
Despite having multiple other small ideas, now I have only one true plan in life. That is, to fall in love with life itself. Maybe that will involve people or one person. Maybe that will be places and the adventures these places bring me. Maybe it will be through kids, a job or simply hobbies. All I know is that if I tell myself it can only happen one way, then I am setting myself up for failure from the beginning.
Life is unpredictable, that is one of the most frightening and most beautiful facts we all come to terms with. I don’t know at what point I came to realize that, but doing so has made me exceptionally more open-minded. Now I realize that organizing and planning are beneficial, but nothing is guaranteed. I feel like a weight has lifted off my shoulders because I am no longer putting so much pressure on myself to meet these absurd deadlines that I once felt was necessary.
Letting go of the idea that only one path in life was possible also allowed me to dream bigger. I started to imagine what it would be like if I got to travel to all of these wonderful places, or do a job I never fathomed within my reach. Imagining and dreaming are the first steps to every plan. If you can’t picture it, how can you possibly become it? Therefore, allowing myself to be open to all of these new ideas and possibilities created a whole new world for me.
In this new world, I don’t know what exactly is the foundation of my happiness. All I know is that being open to change and to life in general, has made me feel immensely lighter. Life feels less like a burden and more like a challenge I’m open to facing. Maybe you only see your life turning out one way, and that’s okay. All I ask is that you take a few minutes and close your eyes and try to imagine what it would be like if it happens to not go your way. Imagine the possibilities, good and bad. Be open to the idea of change and the unexpected. Find a place within yourself where you know that no matter what happens, you will choose to fight for life.
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