Sometimes you get stuck.
You wake up and look at your life and think, this is not the life I imagined when I was eighteen. I was going to live a life people would want to make movies about. I was going to be like the people in romantic comedies, beautiful and successful, with lots of friends whose lives revolve around me, with a cliche but charming love story with someone even more beautiful than me, and the implied happily ever after.
Where did things go wrong?
I know how it feels. Well, not the love story part. That part went right for me – in spite of myself. But I was supposed to be out changing the world right now. I was supposed to be important and influential and at the helm of some epic company or organization, on the cutting edge of whatever industry, traveling all the time and meeting equally important people. Married with kids, of course, but that would be a subplot to the incredible adventures of me.
Here’s the thing...
Actually, a few things.
The way you imagined your life turning out probably wasn’t as great as you thought it would have been.
Your life is way better than you think it is.
You have more options available to change the way things are than you think you do.
Maybe you just need to make a bold move.
In my experience the best bold moves don’t happen in a moment. In movies they do, and occasionally in my life they have, but most have happened gradually, over time, one small choice building on another, until finally what was previously invisible to the outside world becomes impossible to miss.
Like falling in love.
But, these small choices that grow into bold moves happen on purpose and with intention, never (or so rarely as to be the same as never) through waiting for things to happen.
And I’ve spent way too much of my life being that person, the one just waiting. Even now, I spend too little time making bold moves and too much time thinking and re-thinking, tinkering and playing it safe.
There is a piece of advice that I totally believe, but don’t live like I believe.
It is this: the best way to become the person capable of doing the thing you dream of is to begin following your dream and allow the pursuit to shape you into the person who is capable enough to do that thing.
Alright, let's go live the lives we want with the lives we've got. At the very least we will have tried.
This post is inspired by a tight circle of friends and our recent #ProjectAnnbitious. Thanks guys for demonstrating one of the many eternal truths of Moulin Rouge: ‘The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.’
Cover image by Angee Melanson.