So you have no idea what you’re going to do next. Does this sound familiar to you? Did your five year plan fall off the side of the cliff when suddenly you realized that you majored in something all wrong for you? Did your life suddenly change when a friendship fell through, or did everything fall apart when you broke up with your significant other? Did your plans to move out dissolve even before they became plans?
Don’t panic. No matter how old you are, no matter what your circumstances are, just stay calm.
You have your whole life ahead of you. When you take a turn off the paved road you had planned for yourself, things are going to feel foggy…blurry…and unsettling. You are going to feel anxious. But did you ever stop to think that maybe this is okay? Maybe this just means you are taking a path that’s better for you than your original plans?
This uncertainty you feel is often followed by negativity. By doubts. By feelings of terror and panic. But why? We tend to attach so much unnecessary negativity to uncertainty.
We believe that when things go differently than we planned, we are failing.
We think that if we change our minds about something, we will make a mistake. We will be headed in the wrong direction. But why? This idea is purely a social construct – it’s drilled into our brains that we always have to have our next step planned out, and that we always must follow through with what we plan.
Our next accomplishment always underway. This success driven life seems to come naturally to us, but it doesn’t come alone. It’s accompanied by anxiety and stress. And the thing is, we don’t ever simply stop to question this assumption.
We never put our foot down and realize that not knowing what is coming is where beauty lies.
We never celebrate that feeling of bliss or excitement of not knowing what is to come. We never soak in the ambiguity and freedom that we have now been given!
Life doesn’t always give us what we want, or what we expect. Sometimes, although we may not realize it at the time, it gives us what exactly what we need in order to strengthen us. It prepares us for what’s ahead by helping us to grow in the present. It prepares us for both hardships and blessings that are yet to come. But we have to be willing to reroute our plans if necessary. We have to be willing to trust ourselves when we are faced with tough times.
Because of the constant way in which life fluctuates, in which things change, we are given the unlimited capacity to strive to be our best selves, and thus, our happiest selves. We are given unlimited opportunities to make peace with where we are, and time and space to work towards where we hope to be. Life allows us to be dynamic creatures, in which we can learn to thrive in all different sorts of situations. Sometimes we forget that we truly are able to habituate in different settings, in different environments. We stop exploring and adventuring because we thing “this is as good as it’s gonna get,” even if we aren’t happy.
When we settle for something one sided just because we labeled it as our “goal,” we fail to realize the beautiful plasticity of life. We lose opportunities to discover new and wonderful dimensions of ourselves. We may be “content” but not “happy.” We may feel like things are “okay,” but not “great.” But there’s no need for this. There’s no need to settle for just okay. There’s no need to settle for what we had planned just because at one point we were certain that this was what we wanted.
You have this life, this one life, so you might as well live it with might and grace, and with all that you have!
Cherish it – and get as much as you can out of it…all in all, it’s only life. So try new things. Go new places. Be open to whatever comes your way. In the grand scheme of things, you truly have nothing to lose.
Remember that there is no blueprint for the “right” life, or the “ideal” life. A magnificent life is different for everyone. An ideal life can change overtime. While some people crave adventure and travel, a life of wonder filled with moments of never knowing what will come next, others desire a more routine and expected life – such that their heart feels more stable and things go as planned. Whether you want to stay out until 2 am every night, or you prefer to happily go to sleep at 10:30 after you finish watching Netflix, the only thing that matters is that you are doing what’s best for you.
Embrace whatever it is that brings you happiness – and not just fleeting happiness, but pure, genuine, here to stay happiness.
Your lifestyle is a powerful factor in the joy and comfort you experience in life, so seek to find a lifestyle that compels you to be your best you, yet also allows you to be content and not anxious about your day to day life. Genuine happiness should be lasting, not temporary
So try to remember, when suddenly you are somewhere new and different, and you have no idea how you got here, celebrate. Embrace it!
You are worthy of a vibrant and charismatic life, so never settle with just “okay.” If it’s a bad relationship, leave it. If your job is drowning you in stress, make a change. There’s no need to feel chained down to something that isn’t right for you. If you need a new location, try to find a way to move, at least temporarily. Fit in a short walk when you are feeling down to get some fresh air.
Spend time with those who lift you higher, who raise you up, who make you more of who you are. Make changes whenever you need them – never wait until have reached rock bottom. You don’t need all of this pain to realize that you need a change. And if you do hit rock bottom, then it’s time to get back up. You deserve to live in wonder and awe, with surprises waiting around the corners. You never need to settle for good, or just mediocre. You can and will find happiness, you just have to go after it with all of your willpower.
This life right now? This is your masterpiece. This is everything you have. It’s not a trial, or a rough draft. It’s not a dress rehearsal. Don’t hold back or wait until the timing is “right.” Don’t hesitate to follow your heart, to try things even when fear is clouding your view. Sure there will be blips and flaws, mistakes and setbacks. But you don’t need these to define you, you just need these to propel you into something better.
You see, all we have is now, and what we do now will carve our path ahead.
It will shape the darkness. It will bring color to the pages. This is your life. This is the real deal. So do anything you want with it.