When we are born, we are all handed a set of circumstances - location, genetics, economic level, culture, etc. For most, they accept these circumstances as their reality. I was different.
At a very young age, I somehow knew that the circumstances I was born into where not ones that I wished to keep + began exploring other options. I began, as most do, knowing what I did NOT want. Things like having children and staying the mid-west were not my cup of tea. I was in love with New York City before I had ever left the central time zone.
I was always that kid that challenged authority and the status quo. I never accepted anything I was given as absolute truth. I've actually been known to do the exact opposite of what I'm told to do - on purpose.
Case in point: In high school we were told that we weren't allowed to have or wear bandanas as it was a gang sign. Well, I felt that my pink 'Little House on the Prairie' style kerchief didn't fall into those parameters so I wore it faithfully through the halls with my head held high. And when the Vice Principle pulled me out of class to discuss my behavior..... I happily told him that I was, in fact, NOT wearing a bandana and if he had a problem with it he was more than welcome to send me home, and to expect an angry call from my mother later.
So when it came to designing my life, it goes without saying that I purposefully did everything in the exact opposite manner than those around me. But even with all of this.... there was a time when I almost didn't go after my dreams + follow my heart.
There was a time I nearly said yes to a life that wasn't mine.
I know what you're thinking, "YOU!?!?! The Queen of living by the beat of your own drum?"
Yes, it's true. It was Spring, 2004 and I was completing my first semester in Florence. My college boyfriend and I had been talking during my absence. But we weren't just talking - we were envisioning and creating our future together.
To a point it felt comforting and so amazing. I had a man in my life that wanted nothing but the absolute best for our life together. But I knew every time we talked.....
I knew that the Nuclear Lifestyle was not for me. And the decision tore me to pieces..... I had constant mental anguish other whether to take the easy / stable / comfortable road filled with abandoned dreams, ignored passion, undeniable regret, and never-ending 'what if's.... or dive head first into the depths of the complete unknown to trust that there was something bigger out there for me.
I mean, we all know which path I took, right? Cause, seriously..... can you imagine me living in Minnesota with 2.5 kids and a white picket fence? Hilarious.
What I know now, and must have recognized back then as well, is this:
The discomfort of traveling an unknown journey to live from
your heart is NOTHING compared to the immense + constant
pain of playing it safe and following the status quo.
My question to you is..... where are you choosing to play it safe and live by other people's rules for your own life? And where could you follow your heart more? Share your thoughts + experiences in the comments below!!!