Changing Paths

We’re constantly being told two opposing truths as we grow up.

  1. Life isn’t easy.
  2. School will get you a good job which you’ll stay with for the rest of your life.

The truth isn’t quite so simple. Life isn’t easy, true, but there are times when everything falls right into place. School will get you the credentials that could get you a job that you might stay with for the rest of your life.

The first truth is undeniably more true. Life isn’t easy. Getting work isn’t easy. Finding your passion isn’t easy. Sticking with it isn’t easy.

People change. The world changes. What you wanted when you were sixteen and had the world at your feet might be completely different than what you want now, at twenty, when most of the time it feel like you’re standing six feet off the ground. I swear to you, that is okay.

Life never goes the way you plan and, when it throws a wrench in your plans, it is always easier to completely break down than it is to pick yourself back up, look at the new lay of the land, and try again, try something new.

We get stuck in these patterns, in these thoughts, and, somewhere along the line, we begin to believe that the path we’re on is the only path there is to take.

We get stuck walking in one direction, towards one goal, and we don’t have the strength, the bravery, to turn around or find another path or get lost in the forest. We just keep walking, even when it feels like we’re moving through molasses or there’s a natural disaster every few feet.

Don’t get me wrong. By no means am I saying give up when things get tough, I’m saying recognize when things aren’t working for you. 

Does this mean give up on your goals and try something new? Not always. Mostly, it means take a look at where you’ve been and figure out what you need to do to make things work for you.

I want to tell you that scary things are always better than things that make you feel like crap. So while changing your whole life might be the most daunting task you’ve ever been faced with, if you’re not happy, if things don’t feel right, it is always, always, the right choice.

I uprooted my whole life to take a semester off. I left my roommates, two of the people I love most in the world, to live with my parents again. I switched provinces, again. I stopped going to a school I loved and took a break from academics, one of the main things in my life that I’ve always been good at.

I left behind friends and a school and a job and a life. I left behind a dream of mine. And it was the right choice. So if you need a push to take charge of your life, to change your story, consider this it. Taking control is never going to be a mistake, even if everyone in your life is shouting at you that it is.

By no means do you have to change paths now or ever. It might not be the right move for you. You might be in the exact right place. But keep the idea in the back of your mind so that if you ever find yourself at 28 or 35 or 42 thinking this isn’t where I want to be, you know that it’s always all right to change your path. It’s always okay to reconfigure your life to fit what you’re feeling. You are never stuck on a single path.

I wish you all the luck in the world for finding your place in the world. I hope you find the right path. I hope you find something you love. And I hope you’re happy with your life.

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