I remember being a teenager first learning how to drive. So nervous and scared to even breathe or blink. My eyes locked on a small section of the road right in front of the car. Hands gripping onto the steering wheel so tight that my knuckles were turning white.
I listened and let my eyes gaze up from the road, daring myself to look as far ahead as I could until I couldn’t make out anything but a blur. I glanced over to the side mirror and saw a car getting ready to pass me on my left. As I looked back up in front of me, I took a deep breath, my eyes glanced to my right. I could see horses grazing on an open field, a little foal trying to catch up to what I assumed to be its mom.
About 17 years have gone by since this day, but I still think about it. Maybe because I see so many people live their lives like this, including myself sometimes. Always terrified of making the wrong decisions, so we keep our eyes locked a few feet in front of us. Focusin on what we think we’re supposed to do. Like having a career, finding that right someone, have a kid or two. So scared to make a mistake that will mess up this plan.
Who even made this plan? For you, for me, for anyone. I think this plan is part of a package deal when you grow up and start to live in this society. You get it automatically and then that’s it. Congratulations.
But also, seriously…
Have you ever seen those poor horses in NYC that have to pull folks around in a carriage? (Is that some Cinderella fantasy being played out?) Anyhow, they have these side blinders on or whatever it’s called so that they can’t see what’s going on around them. It’s to avoid them getting scared, but that’s what we’re talking about.
When we close our eyes or narrow down our vision to fit this plan, we do it to protect ourselves. It’s safe, it’s familiar and we keep doing it because we’re scared of the unknown. We love being in control of our lives, it’s human nature.
The irony is that we become obsessed with reaching these destinations but they don’t even exist. Or sometimes they do but rarely it’s what we expected. I don’t know anyone that is living their life exactly the way they wanted it (happily) without making any type of changes.
We get “there” and don’t even realize it because we’re so focused on the road that we just pass it by like an exit on the freeway.
Or, we do notice that we reached the destination and are like, this is it? We don’t even like it and realize we’ve spent the whole journey to it miserable. For nothing.
(By the way, I’m using words like “usually” and “rarely” because there are unicorns who figured out their lives when they were eight and then keep the same wants and needs for the rest of their lives.)
But I’ll say this, the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life have been the scariest and most uncomfortable ones. It’s been the times when I’ve questioned what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and then changed it. Like when I moved to another country, quit my job with a steady paycheck, and left my abusive ex-husband. Oh, and when I took all my belongings earlier this year and moved to the other side of the country.
And when I made them I didn’t have all the answers. I had no clue where the road would take me. I just knew I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life gripping on tight to that wheel, trying to survive. I wanted to experience my life. (And still want to.)
A roll-down-the-windows-and-feel-the-air-between-my-fingers type of life.
Every day is a day to experience life. Even if everything is not exactly the way we want it to be or the way we had planned our future to be. It’s still our life. If we keep chasing a destination then we’ll never feel satisfied and we’ll miss the whole experience.
Pretend that right now, the way you’re living your life is like looking out from this tiny little window of a car. Your forehead is resting on the window and your hands are cupping by your eyes, blocking any side vision. All you can see is what’s right in front of you. But if you pulled your head away from the window and removed your hands, you would see all the beautiful experiences around you.You have to trust that even though you don’t have all the answers, everything that is meant for you will come to you.
So in the words of my sweet daddy,
ps. I have a free guide for you if you need help getting clear on what you want or just need a little nudge in the right direction.