Yesterday was just a regular Monday. My job had sent me out to Stratham for training. It is only 10 minutes from the New Hampshire Seacoast, so I took a ride. I have always been adventurous at heart, but I haven’t always followed through.
My life used to be driven by other peoples expectations. Most of my energy was focused on comparing myself to others. I was so focused on other that I lost sight of my growth. My happiness was compromised, and troubled. My conscious was full feelings of loss and impatience. Until a few years back, I never understood why.
Back then, I was too responsible. Fun wasn’t recognized as a valid choice. Responsibilities came first. To take off for a couple hours and sit by the ocean, or take a ride to clear my head was unthinkable. Jobs wouldn’t allow it and I was upholding to others expectations. There was no time for happiness. Unfortunately, there was never time for self reflection either.
Ideas were hammered into my head about accountability and what adults did. My trusting heart latched onto these guidelines and invested in them blindly. I believed that happiness would come with achievement of those traditional benchmarks. I worked hard, and achieved several of them. Yet there was no fulfillment at the end, all I felt was emptiness.
They were someone else’s goals, not mine.
My Father always used to ask me the question “What do you want to do with your life? What are you passionate about?” The questions made me uncomfortable. I answered, but my responses were based on what I thought he wanted to hear. My answer was something used to make others happy.
Slowly there was a realization that I needed to make some changes.
This year, personnel development has been the focus. It has been reflected in several choices that have been made. I moved homes in order to escape a toxic situation. I quit a job that was hurting my happiness. My choices are deliberate now, and my well being is at the forefront.
It is something that has always been a struggle for me. Often it makes me feel selfish and guilty. I have to remind myself that self care is important. That putting myself first isn’t wrong. I need to advocate for myself because no one else will.
In the last six months my outlook on things has changed. I have discovered core principles in my values. Simplicity, adventure, quiet and a value for experiences over things. Discovering these things frees me.
Progress is steady,
It has been challenging, but slowly I am learning. To be mindful and calm. To engage in self care. To take space when it is necessary. To dig deep to find what my needs are.
I have begun to understand how different we all are. We all grow at a different rate. We all have different needs and dreams. That has helped me establish a inner peace. I don’t concern myself with what other think, or compare my life to theirs anymore. That freed up energy is spent on living life. I plan the future. I go for walks and teach my dog new things. I go for adventures. Life is better when you have found your truth.
Life can be challenging sometimes. So much of our success is based on how we meet those challenges. My focus these days is finding myself, and what makes me happy. I have cast off the expectations of others. My life is now committed to living a life that fulfills me. Life is more than a set of expectations or other peoples opinions. It took me so long to realize that. It is about being happy, whatever that means for you.