Learning To Grow Through What You Go Through

I'm a planner. I always have been. I thought I had my whole future planned. A bachelor's degree in political science. Law school. Graduate at the top of my class. Intern at some big-shot law firm. Work my way up to partner. Marry my high school sweetheart. Have some kids. Live a glamorous life in a penthouse in a big city. Perfect, right? The only problem was that somewhere along the road, I wasn't so sure this was the life I wanted anymore. I wasn't so sure of who I was anymore. New avenues presented themselves to me in subtle ways, and I felt drawn to career paths I had never considered before. Naturally, I panicked. That's another thing about me. I panic...A LOT. I had spent so much time having tunnel vision and meticulously crafting the perfect future that I lost sight of myself. My plans were falling apart, and for lack of a better description, I was a total train wreck — indecisive, insecure and facing crippling anxiety. I felt mounting pressure from nobody but myself to have my life figured out. But the hard truth was that I just didn't. 

Difficult Roads lead to beautiful destinations sign Photo by Hello I'm Nik from Unsplash

Coming to terms with that realization was anything but easy. When a control freak like me is asked to give up control, things can get real ugly real fast. The good news is that eventually, I understood that something needed to be done about it. I couldn't keep moping around in my dorm room feeling sorry for myself. After all, how fortunate am I to have a variety of interests and the opportunity to explore them? How fortunate am I to even have a choice to make at all? After months of driving myself nuts, I realized that in a true Taurus fashion, I was resisting change that was not only inevitable but vital to my growth. I started actively choosing to let life guide me instead of the other way around. When I did that, I saw myself transform entirely. I discovered new passions, new tastes, new goals. But, I also rediscovered parts of myself that had been in me all along. My confidence, my spontaneity, my joie de vivre. Even though I still don't know what my future looks like, for the first time in a long time, I don't feel like throwing up when I think about it. That's more than I could say six months ago, so I'm calling it progress. 

I guess the whole point of this tangent is to say that life isn't a straight line. In fact, it more closely resembles the New York City metro map, and that's ok! The beauty isn't in knowing, it's in the process of figuring it out. Although that part can be stressful, it'll also teach you lessons and lead to realizations that will bring you one step closer to where you want to be. Sometimes, things won't go the way you thought they would, but the result could still be great! Different, but great, nonetheless. Life has a funny way of surprising you when you least expect it, and surprises can be good if you accept them. The reality is that this control we cling to is an illusion. Nobody really knows what will happen tomorrow. I mean, we're literally in the middle of a very unexpected global pandemic so if that doesn't convince you, I don't know what will. The bottom line is, you're doing your best, and that's all you can do.  If you're struggling, you're not alone. Most of us don't have a clue what comes next, but whatever it is, it will be amazing. You are right where you are supposed to be. Don’t ever forget it. 

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