Many times we find ourselves in situations feeling trapped, scared, lost, confused, indifferent, and angry regarding our major life choices (and the aspects of them that we feel are out of our control.) We know something inside feels inherently wrong, but we are clueless or perhaps unmotivated to make a change. Sometimes it’s easier to stay in the perpetual storm of our lives, which can become more harmful day by day to our well being. However, veering off course may steer us in another direction to discover a new journey that leads us to a safe harbor. Why is it that we’d rather endure pain either by masking it or feeling every part of it rather than allowing ourselves to feel peace of mind and peace of heart? Why must we settle for what we truly don’t want rather than finding the patience to wait and construct what it is we truly desire and deserve?
Each and every one of us has a catalog of our mental diaries, reflecting what we’ve said to ourselves or what others have said to us. Consequently, the loop of that negative chatter weighs us down. Even though we try to rip out the pages of this “diary,” scribble out the words, keep it under lock and key, or even try to burn it — we’re still troubled by it until we realize, it’s not true.
Some examples of my mental diary include:
Entry 1: “If you leave your job with full benefits and a retirement fund, then you’re crazy!”
My response: If I ended up staying at my job, it would have driven me crazy.
Entry 2: “You’re still not married? What’s wrong with you? Go out and find someone.”
My response: There is nothing wrong with me. I believe in the value of a shared life through love and commitment rather then marrying someone for the sake of fear or convenience.
Entry 3: “If you want to be a mom, you better start now… what are you waiting for? You’re not a spring chicken. Just go and hook-up with someone and get it done.”
My response: I am waiting to birth and raise children with a partner who is worthy of my love as I am theirs. At our pace and time, it will happen when it’s supposed to as this decision is shared only between us.
Entry 4: “You’re moving to Italy? But your family, job, friends, and apartment are here in New York. Why would you give up the life you already have?”
My response: Although I have incredible gratitude for my family, loved ones, and the life I’ve created in NY, it’s not the life that I’m meant to be living — it’s someone else’s who is no longer. It’s time I follow my heart to its rightful home.
The point is this: if I continued to believe what others said to me and what I said to myself, then I would have settled on a path that didn’t feel right. Intuitively, I knew it was time to find shelter from my raging internal storm. I would have settled for a loveless marriage, living in an undesired location, taking full responsibility of the children and the household, while being a workaholic. If I had settled as I once did for over a decade of my life through my late teens and into my late twenties, I truly don’t even want to imagine what the future would have held for me. Perhaps it would have been complete burnout, anger, and self-loathing. Instead, I’m choosing the route of patience, authenticity, and faith. Day by day, new challengespresent themselves. But also new discoveries are appreciated. No matter what happens in the future, I am living in the moment now and actively making choices to create a life that I desire, while accepting that it’s an open-ended time frame. “It comes when it comes,” my father gently reminds me every now and then.
Of course with anything in life, there is the importance of finding the balance between stability and practically. In tandem, it’s necessary to give ourselves permission to make goals and accomplish them through creativity and risk-taking. There are no guarantees yet there are no mistakes. Everything plays out the way it should. It’s during the most difficult or the most beautiful life situations when we undoubtedly realize that settling is no longer an option. What becomes the best option is knowing that we have free will and the ability to make choices. It may require discipline, patience, and commitment to truly reach the goal and place in our lives that we desire. But nonetheless, at least we can give ourselves the best possible chance that resonates within our respective life stories.