Sometimes life leaves me wondering whether it’s already too late. Have I wandered so far down the rabbit hole that I’ve somehow lost who I am? Have I made myself numb from walking around in a daze for now, trying so hard to be different that I’ve wound up like everybody else?
Ever get that feeling that you’re not unite who you’re supposed to be in life? That there’s a destination, and while you don’t know what it is or what it looks like, something in your gut tells you that you’re not there yet?
Sure you have. Very few of us are completely content with our lives — most of us feel that there’s something in our lives that we could change in order to be happier.
Something doesn’t seem right with this picture, though. What’s on the other side of the fence? What’s in that territory that we might catch the odd glimpse of now and again?
While we might not know, it doesn’t make it impossible to find out!
The problem that most of us have is that we’ve resigned ourselves to our fates. A job is comfortable, so we’ll opt to stick with it — even if we don’t like it — rather than look at what we really enjoy doing and making a go of that. It takes far more energy to try and be something that you’re not than to simply embrace who it is that you are and make the best go of life that you can with that.
But we see others who seem happier than we are. We see people doing the things we want to do, working the jobs we envision ourselves in — why can’t we be more like them?
Because we don’t know how and don’t bother to ask. Most of us spend our time complaining and bellyaching rather than doing anything about our lives.
I could have never seen myself working in government IT when I was younger. Ask me what I was going to be when I was a kid, and you’d hear a doctor, since that’s what my parents wanted me to be. (My mother didn’t shy away from reminding me the other day that she would’ve cleaned every hours in Mississauga to afford to send me to Harvard for medicine.) Ask me what I wanted to be as a teenager, and you’d hear of my budding aspirations to become a great artists. While I didn’t have much direction after finish high school (to the point where I took an extra year of school since I didn’t know what I wanted to do), I’m pretty sure going to university for business wasn’t anywhere on my radar. Nor was applying for a government internship until my Mom presented me with an ad she’d seen in the paper.
No, the paths we often take in life are a far cry from the ones that we expected to take.
But that doesn’t necessarily make them the wrong paths.
Maybe it’s time to grow up. Maybe it’s time to realize that our lives aren’t as inflexible as we make them out to be. All it takes is a little drive. A little ingenuity.
And a whole lot of passion.
We’ll only stay prisoner to our lives as long as we let ourselves.
–Casey E. Palmer