What are you doing with your life? I find myself asking this question a lot. I ask my friends, I ask my husband, I ask my sister who just graduated high school, I even ask my parents. But most importantly, I ask myself. In the last year, the main lesson I’ve learned is that we can have an answer to this question, a plan of exactly what we’re doing with our life, a perfect picture in our head of how we want it to look, and a schedule of events to get there-to that life that we’ve imagined for ourselves. But it doesn’t always work out that way.
If you would have asked me ten years ago how my life would look at the age of 23, I would have told you that I’d be working at a high end salon styling hair in New York City and possibly studying interior design or journalism. I would be traveling to Europe and Thailand with my new friends from New York, and probably dating a bunch of random guys who had good singing voices and a lot of tattoos.
If you would have asked my five years ago, I would have told you that by the time I was 23, I would have it all figured out. By “figured out” I would mean that I would have a long list of places I’ve traveled, my dream career, a nice six pack of abs, a close group of friends that I would gather with for pilates and brunch, and a handsome husband. I’d be on my way to starting a family, building my dream home, and making a lot of money. (hahahha!)
Some of these things have worked out the way I pictured they would. (Example: Handsome husband) Some haven’t. (Example: abs) And I’ve taught myself that that is completely okay. It is what keeps life interesting. As we grow, our interests and wants for our lives change. Upon a series of very fortunate events, I’ve created a life that I am very proud of. And the things I am not proud of, I know that those things happened because I chose them to. I’ve finally learned and accepted that I have almost complete power of how my life goes. So let me ask you, are you proud of the life you’ve created? Did it go according to plan? Is it too late to start over?
I constantly hear, or read about people who say “well it wasn’t suppose to happen this way” or “why didn’t life go as I always hoped?” “Why couldn’t my life have turned out the way their’s did?” “Where did I go wrong?”
And to be honest, I am guilty of thinking the same way. Randomly, I’ll ask myself why things turned out the way the did and why certain things didn’t go as planned. Why couldn’t I have ended up loving being a hair stylist like I always dreamed of, or why did I flake out and give up on my dreams of moving to New York when I graduated high school? I’ll even ask myself why things I couldn’t control happened the way they did. Like why couldn’t I have been raised by parents who stayed married? Or why wasn’t I born with thick hair and long legs?
I am constantly hearing people say that they aren’t happy with the way things happened, and it makes me upset. We all need to change our perspective, and look at the positive reason of why things happened the way they did. Because even though it’s hard to imagine sometimes, I believe that most things always happen for very good reasons.
Instead of being passionate about styling hair, I have found my true passion in events and design. And who knows, maybe in another five years, I will find a new passion, or go back to my old ones. Instead of being a band groupie, I fell in love at the age of fifteen and never wanted anything else. I don’t have a very long list of places traveled by the age of 23. I am just starting my list, but now I have my husband by my side. I may not go to brunch and practice Pilates with my friends every week, but I have accepted that maybe that’s just not the person I am. (Just like I don’t have long legs and thick hair-and abs) I may not be on the way to building my dream home or starting a family anytime soon, but I have a healthy happy marriage, a home that I’ve learned to love, and my Harvey boy who takes up my whole heart at the moment.
Obviously, you all had a different “life plan” than I did. And your picture in your head of what your life would look like at this point may be completely opposite of mine. Maybe some of you are living that life plan, and things went right on schedule and everything worked out perfectly, (round of applause for you) but I doubt that is the case for most of you. I am here to tell you it’s okay! And I am going to sound very cliche, but where you are right now is exactly where you should be.
So forget that picture in your head that you had five or ten years ago. Forget all of those plans that didn’t work out, work towards the ones that are still important to you, and be excited for the ones that haven’t happened yet. Accept the life that you’re living because at some point, this was your decision. You decided to live this life. If you are unhappy with it, take a step back and remind yourself that it’s never too late to change it. We can’t change the past, but it is our choice how we choose to think about it. Instead of being upset, dwelling on it, and thinking “why did I do that, or why didn’t I do that” think of the future, and start working towards that life you want.
You may be upset that you didn’t move to New York when you were 18, but you can still move to New York. (“No I can’t because I have a career and five kids now Wren.” ) QUIT THAT CAREER AND PACK THOSE KIDS UP. If it’s something you really want and you know that you would eventually regret it if you didn’t do it, DO IT!
If you asked me today how I picture my life in five years, I might have a long detailed answer. I can sit here and imagine how it will look, and draw up a schedule and a plan, but the truth is I have finally learned and accepted that it won’t always work out that way. I may be very happy with the outcome, I may have some regrets, but I know that there will be lessons learned either way. None of us know when our life will make us reschedule or cancel certain plans, but we always need to remember that the reason it turned out the way it did is because we created that way.
“What screws us up the most in life is the picture in our head of what it’s supposed to be.” -Socrates
Onto the next adventure, Wren