(Students celebrating the end of their studies in Coimbra, Portugal.) Another thing that’s held me back from beginning to live life on my terms is that, for years, I felt like I was doing something too wild and incomprehensible to be accepted by the many people I cherish in my life. This feeling came up because they presented me with their many (logical and very rational) fears for me and their fears became my own (until I realized they weren’t) and I felt stupid, too crazy or too anxious to actually do create a life on my terms.
I’ve realized that to accept what you want, you have to also accept that the people that love you the most will have a tough time openly encouraging you to deviate from stability. It’s so much easier to have a path of reliable income, feel you can predict the outcome of your actions, know that you will be safe by making similar choices each day and so forth.
Exchanging everything familiar for not only the unfamiliar, but also leaving a secure path and choosing one where I could end up financially less secure, or wow, more secure than I ever thought possible, is a risk. People that love us want us to be happy. Happiness is often, to them, that you are safe, that you are loved, that you can provide for everything you need and that you are also close to them because they love you!
Often times when you want to make a life change or a job change or just a change, in general, it means potentially disappointing those closest to you. That’s not something most of us want to do. And so we have to make a choice – disappoint those closest to us, or disappoint ourselves. Because someone is going to be disappointed or feel worried or badly about whichever action you choose. (Though, in the end, the people that love you will end up so happy that you are happy it will take the place of that disappointment!) Of course, it’s hard knowing that some people I love don’t understand my current choices, and simply don’t know what to make of me. But, I will have to accept that, too.
The thing I forgot, that I’ve been so reminded of, is that I do have choices. Every day is a choice. But I was making them unconsciously and now I am aware, each day, of each choice I make, and the outcome. Even better, when I make a choice and it has an outcome I don’t like, I get to make another choice – feel badly about the outcome or create a new one.
Never forget, in your own life, that you are making choices each day. If you don’t like the outcome of your current life, then make some new choices and see what happens.