I have two questions for you today.
The first question is two-part.
Are you choosing your life or are you doing what family/friends/society have chosen for you?
Growing up, my parents always encouraged us to be ourselves. Of course, they had certain expectations for us but it never mattered if we were most popular or the school loser, as long as we were happy and living a good life.
I grew up and felt the pressures from my peers and advertisements. I was putting money, time and effort into things that meant nothing to me.
One day I woke up and looked around, asking myself why I did the things I did or had the things I had, even why I had the attitude I had.
This sounds so cliché but I realized it was time to rediscover who I was. I started to analyze everything.
Are there things in your life that you can’t remember why you started doing them or why you bought them? Are there things that you have been told your whole life and never thought to question?
What would you change about your life if you could?
Once you have looked at yourself and your life, you can start to separate which things really are important and which things are not.
Some things I found out about myself:
I don’t want to spend the rest of my life living the American Dream: big mortgage, big car payments, PTO, soccer, etc. I want to spend my life exploring the world and planting the seed of wanderlust in my children.
I don’t want my house to look like its from Better Homes and Gardens- too busy, too cluttered and too much work. I would much rather have a simple house with just the things we need, a few decorations that bring us joy and minimal time needed to clean it.
I hate shaving! Last October I stopped shaving my armpits. I only shave my legs once or twice a week. Plus, I got laser hair-removal on my bikini area because that is the part I hate shaving most of all but can’t stand to let grow out.
I love my husband and kids and I want to make them a higher priority in my life. I want to have fewer distractions and more interaction.
I love exercising! I enjoy spending a part of my day working out. I feel stronger, healthier and happier.
I enjoy reading. I especially love reading true stories about people’s lives and adventures. Some of my favorite books have been Wild, Eat Pray Love, Monkey Dancing and Into the Wild.
I’m not at all trying to suggest that everyone should live their lives just like me.
Look at your life and choose how you want to live it.
Don’t trap yourself in a life that others have patched together for you.
Change is rarely easy. Be open to change. Look for change.
Choose one small thing to change today and you will be one step closer to living the life of your choosing.
Note: I do think there is such a thing as going too far. We try to teach our kids that being different is OK and can be good. We also teach them that being different just to be different is still letting others guide their lives. Finding what matters and living your life accordingly, in spite of negative or positive influences of others, is going to be the most fulfilling life of all.