There is a difference between doing what you want and doing what’s expected of you.
When there is pressure applied to anything, the two natural options are to either push back or move with the pressure.
I tend to push back.
There have been times in my life, like I’m sure there have been for you, when people wanted me to do/go/be something. And I would find myself doing the opposite.
It wasn’t out of spite or pride, but simply because it wasn’t what I wanted to do. Though, there have been times where I found myself going towards the path of other’s and giving into the pressure. Afterwards, I usually end up with a headache and a tinge of regret.
This stems from my natural tendency to refrain from disappointing the people I care about. Can you relate?
I believe our society has put limits on our journey. Our world tells us when we should get married, have children, buy a house, be promoted, and at what age we should be “successful”. Not to mention when to start saving money for retirement and your 401k.
Now, as my friends get married and settled down, I’m beginning to feel that social pressure asking me, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
My answer – I don’t know. And I don’t want to.
This past year of discovery has led me to let the future remain ambiguous, embracing life in the present. In fact, I love the present so much, I think I’ll stay here forever. Unwrapping its daily gifts of intention and opportunity.
Don’t confuse living in the preset with not having goals or vision for your life. Because goals and vision are why you’re here. To leave your mark and be a light to the world through your gifts and talents.
But – when you feel pressured to fall in line and follow this perfectly timed out path for life, you will feel regret. Regret for the “what ifs” and regret for not trusting in God’s timing.
And maybe even worse, regret for making the wrong decision by marrying the wrong person because you felt rushed into it.
Don’t push yourself to be something you’re not. And that includes ignoring all the people along the way that ask you intrusive questions like, “Why aren’t you married yet?” and “What is it you actually do again?”
You do not have to justify your path to anyone. If you are 28, single, and loving your job that pays the rent and you’re happy, then do it. And don’t be ashamed of that.
As long as your believe in your vision and you feel like that path you’re on just might lead you to beautiful and new opportunities, stay on it.
Let’s make life just a bit easier for ourselves and stop comparing our journeys to the journey of others. My path will not be your path, just like your path will not be mine. And they shouldn’t be.
It takes courage and determination to take the first step in following your own path. One that you choose the direction of. One that you are the sole decision maker.
Follow your path like it’s your own – because it is. Not any one else’s. Make the journey worthwhile and drown out those societal voices filled with pressure and expectations.
This is your path. Live it.
Photography | Blue Genes Photography