I didn’t have high expectations of myself growing up.Quite the opposite, in fact.
I felt pressure from society to have a career path, a life partner, and a family, all by the age of 25.It was too much!So I decided I would do what felt right for meat the time and see how it would all play out.
I felt that the pressure to have one’s life in order at such a young age was somewhat unrealistic. After all, I was still discovering who I was; how could I possibly have it all figured out that decisively?
The Vision That Shaped My Future
When I imagined my future, I saw myself as a strong and fiercely independent woman, someone that had a fire inside me to do something positive for others.
I imagined being in relationships but maintaining a non-committal posture, and maybe raising a child or two on my own. It all seemed pretty straightforward.
In my perfect world, there were big dreams in the making,but I still had the time and availability to live a busy and full life without any strings attached. I imagined myself as city-bound, working long hours in a concrete jungle, hustling, happy, and still able to enjoy my friendships, nightlife, and travel.
I imagined having a partner, but in my vision,it looked more like two people enjoying life together in a carefree way with no real responsibilities.
What Really Happened: Choices, Realizations, and Shaping a New Vision
My life was very true to that vision for quite a while.But as time went on, I realized how unfulfilled I felt. No matter how booked up my social calendar was, I still felt lonely. I truly believed I was living my best life until I started to realize that it didn’t give me comfort anymore.
I started to imagine what life might be like for me if it all slowed down, and that thought scared me, so I would revert to my chaotic life, back to that place where I felt unfulfilled.
Although I knew I needed a change, I couldn’t comprehend what it would look like. I found that very frustrating.
I chose to keep on living as I was, except I became a little reckless, and I made some poor choices.I suspect I made those choices because I didn’t feel settled or satisfied, and I felt like I needed to do something drastic.
About a year into this journey, I started to imagine where I wanted to be. I began not only to think about it, but to believe it, and after a while, I began to feel more fulfilled.
Outwardly, nothing had changed. The inner transformation, however, was truly remarkable.
My life was still the same, but my mindset had changed. I took the time to acknowledge what a beautiful life I had lived and to honour the many great experiences that had impacted me in a positive way.
I was sure that from that moment on, I was going to choose ME over anything else.I had reached a point where I was my priority, and not anyone or anything else.
Moments of Truth
Making these changes was scary, but it was necessary.
Before I could do anything else, my first task was to disengage from a long-standing friendship with a female friend, one that was toxic for me. For years, I had thought that this friend and I needed to ”break up,” and once we finally did, I felt an immediate sense of relief.
There was some backlash, of course, mostly from our mutual friends. To this day, many of those friendships are tarnished. There are always good and bad things that come from change, and I have accepted the consequences.In this circumstance, the good far outweighed the bad. Ultimately, it was my choice to make. There was no good reason for me to stay in this friendship, and I certainly wasn’t willing to do so just to make other people happy.
My next few steps might not have seemed so pivotal at the time, but as I look back, it’s clear to see how important they were.
A Time to Heal: How Helping Others Helped Me
Going forward, I spent more time on my own, which I found oddly comforting. I became more business-driven and spent more time thinking about how to make myself available to others in need.
I became involved with charitable organizations. I gave my time to underprivileged children and acted as a role model in hopes of guiding them in a positive direction.
Ironically, there I was, guiding young ones to find their path when all the while, I was doing the same! The process was as healing as it was inspirational.
After a great deal of effort and time, I was also able to break up with my live-in boyfriend. But before I got to that point, I had to make some big plays.
One of these was to share with a close friend just how damaging my relationship actually was. I confided to a family member about what our life really looked like behind closed doors. It felt good and empowering to get it out in the open. I no longer had to carry around the frustration and shame I felt for staying. Sharing gave me the strength and encouragement I needed to take the next step.
I contacted a lawyer and had a separation agreement drawn up.I was mentally prepared, not just to break up, but to live life on my own. It was scary, but it was time.
It wasn’t an easy time in my life, but it needed to happen so I could move on. Once I got through it all, I was finally content and happy. The weight was off my shoulders. I felt like I was glowing, and people around me couldn’t help but notice that I had a new spring in my step.
Taking your life back, even if it’s a life you haven’t fully discovered yet, is an incredible feeling.
My advice to you is to live consciously. Listen to yourself and pay attention to how people and situations make you feel. Make decisions because it feels right to you, and don’t let the disappointment or judgement of others keep you from where you’re going.
I’ve chosen to be true to myself, and it’s absolutely the best feeling. Sure, I still make mistakes, but they’re mine to make.
In life, as in love, it’s all about the journey. And how can you completely understand what you want and what you need until you’ve experienced the opposite?
Be fearless and know that wherever you are right now, that’s exactly where you’re supposed to be.