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inspiration mental health self care

One Step at a Time

If anyone ever tells you they are certain about how their life will turn out, do not believe them. Most of us struggle deciding what to wear every day, what to watch, what to eat, and the list goes on. So, how can we be sure about what we are going to do with the rest of our lives?

Growing up, I had a game plan for my life: get my degree by 21, get married at 25 (why is this the magic number for many of us growing up by the way?), become financially stable and working within my chosen career between 24 and 30, and everything else would fall into place…

Life update: I started university a semester later than expected (because life happened) and I graduated at 22. Unless I have an invisible ring and I am in a relationship I have no knowledge of, I am not married. Am I financially stable like I planned to be? No. Also, this small thing called a pandemic happened, and I reckon that threw a curveball into a lot of our plans. Do not even get me started about “my career”. 5 years ago, I would not have predicted that my life would be the way that it is now. Even at the start of 2020, I would not have predicted certain life events that would occur.

Long story short, my game plan for life has been thrown out of the window. Not to say that I have not achieved some of my goals or made things happen, but I needed to be more open minded about how they would come about and when. Unpredictability makes me feel unstable, but that is a part of life. Most things do not go according to plan. There will always be highs and lows, and I have had to realise that is okay. When I reflect on different moments in my life so far, I realise that everything has happened the way it was meant to, even my most painful experiences. Honestly, the most unpredictable moments have allowed some of the most amazing things to happen. Some of them have also allowed me to build new relationships with people I would have otherwise not met. As cliché as it is, everything really does happen for a reason. I wonder if the event itself is not the issue, but when we do not want to accept them? (Food for thought.)

Everyone has their reasons for doing something or not. Everyone is entitled to make their own choices. Just because you disagree with choices another individual has made; does not mean they are wrong. You can give someone advice or make a suggestion, but did they ask you for it? What makes you so sure that what you are saying is what their life path should be? Also, you should not be offended when someone makes decisions independent of you, because they are making decisions for their life and not yours. Maybe that is our problem… entitlement. Somehow it is programmed within human nature, that we are entitled to have authority over others. It’s so hypocritical, because from the moment we know we can make choices (in infancy), we get annoyed when others tell us what to do. So, why do we suddenly think it is our right to dictate things to others, and have this unrealistic expectation that they will follow our orders? It does not make any sense to me.

Society has a nasty habit of making everyone believe that life must be lived in limited and specific ways. For us to change the collective mindset, we need to do better as individuals. We need to stop making people feel like they are failing, because of unrealistic standards and expectations.

As uncomfortable and afraid as it may make you feel, learn to accept that you cannot control everything. Learn to accept that anyone who is meant to be in your life after you choose to make your own way will be. Learn to accept that there are multiple ways for you to reach your destination. Learn to accept that there are no set rules for how many times you can change your mind about what you want to do. Learn to accept that no one else needs to understand your decisions if you can justify them for yourself. Learn to accept that the world will not end if things do not work out the way you initially wanted them to. Learn to accept that what works for someone else may not work for you. Learn to accept that you will never be truly happy if you let others constantly map out your life plan. Learn to accept that this is your life to live. Learn to accept that life is a journey, and it is okay if you want to take life one step at a time.

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