This is a message to everyone I love: Family, friends and strangers.
You may have noticed that I’m not myself lately. I’m irritable, angry and emotional. It doesn’t take much to set me off most days.
I change my mind every few weeks—sometimes days or hours—about what I want to do with my life. The ideas only last long enough for me to do some research, talk it out with a few people and then realize that it’s not what I really want to do.
Like when I was considering going back to school to get my PhD. My best friend was applying and I picked up on her excitement and started to look into it for myself. When it came time to meet with an advisor (a meeting I had set up very abruptly), I cancelled and never rescheduled. I knew it wasn’t right for me.
I can imagine it gets tiring to hear me sigh or ramble on about my latest plan or what’s got me going. But I’m just working through my sh*t. I’m figuring things out.
I’ve always been good at running away. One of my worst habits is thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. I pick everything up and move towns or apartments with the belief that it will make things different, better. But it doesn’t, because the common factor is me and I haven’t changed my ways.
I have toxic habits. I continue to hurt myself and think a new place will stop these cycles from repeating. But little by little, these experiences are teaching me. I now know I need to change myself instead of trying to escape the hurt and insecurities in my heart.
So when I want to make a big change, I try to consider whether this change is an escape from working on myself or if I’m breaking the seemingly impenetrable fear and moving towards my dream.
I’ve started to explore how to listen to my gut and quiet the chatter in my mind.
I have known for a long time that my way of doing things is unconventional and might not be the shortest route to where I am going. I don’t like to play by other people’s rules. I’m most happy and successful when I do what I want, when I want.
I am forging my own path.
To you, I may seem flighty and indecisive. But I’m just trying to get to know myself; my needs and desires. Who I am. What makes me—elements that have been at the core of my being since I was a little girl. This is what I hope to find my way back to.
I want to explore and live the life I dream of because I know it’s not unattainable. It’s just not what people are used to. But I’ve known for a long time my life path wouldn’t be average. And to date, it hasn’t been.
So, I will continue to weigh my options and talk out possibilities, because I need to test what feels right.
Most people won’t understand the way I do things and I don’t expect them to. But to me, success cannot be based on how many rungs we’ve climbed, but rather on genuine happiness. If we have that, then we’re doing something right.
But it’s hard to get to that place—really f**king hard. Some days are better than others, but it can be defeating trying to listen to your heart and gut when your mind is racing, and you don’t know how you’re going to feel from one day to the next.
Some days I want to apologize to everyone for being cranky or fickle. But I’m not going to. I’m not sorry that I’m learning to love myself and do things that truly make me happy. I will not pretend that I want to keep doing what I think I should be doing, or what other people want me to do.
I’ve resisted against the winds of my heart for a long time. Now I’m too tired to push back. I’m ready to run with them.
Maybe you won’t understand why I’m fighting so hard. It may seem like I’ve pitted myself against a life most would be content to have. But I don’t want to be content.
I’m fighting for the utmost joy and a heart beaming with light. As painful as some of these day are, I love where I’m going.
Author: Meaghan Archer
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Image: Mike Lay/Flickr