Finding my purpose in life has never been easy. Even the thought of growing up was enough to make my face break out. As I grew older, the more people would ask me what I wanted to do with my life and the more I realized I had no idea. Reality started to set in. All of my years of playing house as a kid still wasn’t enough to prepare me for this. I suddenly knew that my dream at age 4 of playing with my dolls for a living wasn’t going to unfold as planned.
While my friends were away at college pursuing their dreams, I found myself at home wondering why it seemed as though I wasn’t handed the map that everyone had seemed to get to guide them through life.
Growing up, my school experience wasn’t ideal. Elementary school was fine. The innocence of being a child was great. Middle school was difficult. I changed schools twice thinking it would solve my problems, praying that high school would be different. Sadly, it wasn’t and I learnt that it definitely wasn’t like they had shown in High School Musical. From bullying to general teenage self-esteem issues – I ended up making the decision to do high school online. Day in and day out I wondered why this was happening to me. As the days grew longer, there I was doing high school from my bedroom wondering why I wasn’t living out the lifestyle they had all too often showed in movies.
Eventually my high school years passed and there I was graduated and still searching for that map. It seemed as though the more I talked with my friends about their post-secondary plans, the more I realized how lost I really was. The feelings of defeat started to sink in and I began to get annoyed with anyone who had a plan or seemed to be going places. I hated happiness because it seemed so out of reach for me.
Truth was, happiness was never out of reach – My problem was I had been waiting. Waiting for happiness to magically appear, to knock on my door. All these years spent waiting for that map not realizing that maybe that map never even really existed?
5 years later, still no map in hand and yet I finally have no reason to keep searching for it. The thing about life is that it’s not supposed to be planned. After years of searching for who I was, I decided to become whoever I wanted to be. I’m no longer afraid of trying or messing up or taking risks. I’ve realized that nothing comes from within your comfort zone. Slowly I removed the security blanket of sadness that had been weighing me down for all to long by simply taking chances.
I promise you aren’t the only one wondering why you couldn’t find that damn map. We are all searching for that map, not realizing that WE are the map. We need to stop waiting and start making choices. No matter where we are in life, no matter what happens or happened to us – we all have a choice. You don’t need to be a prisoner to your past. Even in your darkest moments, you have to be willing to create space for the light. You cannot expect that light to magically appear, you have to create it.
The journey to finding my happiness has not been easy. Some mornings I would question if what I was doing was even worth it but I stuck there. I made that choice to continue. It has taken sacrifices, being alone with my thoughts, confronting new demons and most importantly making a choice to no longer be the victim anymore.
I stopped feeling sorry for myself and got comfortable with the uncomfortable. I let myself sit in the middle of all of those feelings of uncertainty about my life. I let myself know that I wasn’t failing just because I wasn’t where I wanted to be in life. Failing is when you give up and I wasn’t about to be a quitter. I stopped waiting for life to happen and made it happen. I stopped waiting for happiness, I created it.What I want you to get from this is that you are never stuck. If you are reading this feeling hopeless, feeling like high school Jen – know that the only thing standing between you and your happiness is yourself. Realize that maybe life isn’t about finding that map but about creating your own path. Maybe life is about finding the small things that help ease the heaviness of it all. Realize that your happiness is not out of reach, you won’t break because all of those hardships in your life are actually gluing you together so you can make that choice to be happy. Because after all, happiness is a choice. So what are you going to choose?