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Any bit of self-assurance and confidence was drained from me, quickly becoming replaced by the anxiousness that continued to trickle through my nerves.
It was a place that was all too familiar. An area that I visited many times but never stayed long. My initial response was to do whatever was necessary to remove myself from that state.
So, I started taking the steps I was used to taking. I began to distance myself from the situation.
Many people would assume from my reaction that I was in a dangerous situation. Those people would be wrong. In actuality, I was reacting from seeing evidence of my desires being played out. Something that I had wanted for a long time and had been working toward started to appear. The problem is that once I got a taste of my desire showing itself, a pause happened.
It was as if the entire process of the desire unfolding froze, and I found myself suddenly waiting, feeling the discomfort of the unknown take over my senses. While the desire made its presence known, it didn’t quite reveal itself enough to guarantee that things would work out. Instead, I was presented with the inevitable waiting period, unsure if what I wanted so badly would actually come to full fruition.
It’s during this waiting period that I always find myself asking questions. Am I being too much of a dreamer? Is this even possible? Am I being irresponsible by enduring this waiting period instead of being more realistic? Is this too good to be true?
Every few years, I find myself in this spot. And every answer to the above questions always eventually becomes a “yes” for me. I would then go down the more practical path.
After making the logical decision of stepping back onto that practical path, I felt a sense of comfort in the morning. I was able to breathe again as the blanket of familiarity and practicality continued to caress me. Yet, at the same time, another feeling washed over me. Complacency. That’s when it was finally clear: I’ve never actually followed through with anything I’ve genuinely wanted. I always took the more straightforward path, despite me not actually wanting it.
The issue with the practical path is that it’s actually more of a loop than a path. Perhaps that’s why it doesn’t contain any discomfort; eventually, we know what to expect from walking in circles. It’s safe because we know exactly what awaits. Despite it being safe, it has never made me particularly happy. That’s probably because what awaits us on this path is pretty much nothing.
Instead of pushing through the long interview process for the senior level position, I took the entry level job that someone offered me. Instead of waiting for the right person to enter my life for the enriching relationship I’ve always wanted, I got involved with the person whose treatment didn’t fit my original standards. Instead of fully acting on my business idea to form a company, I started scrambling to apply for jobs.
As I dwelled in this dull sensation of harmless hopelessness, I realized something for the first time: I’ve never made it past the pause. Once the desire showed itself in my reality and the pause followed, I never waited it out and endured the discomfort. Instead, I assumed I was being impractical and reentered the practical path.
This prompted me to think back on the past desires that I walked away from and notice something: those past desires weren’t impractical at all. They made perfect sense for me to pursue and obtain, yet I somehow managed to convince myself at that time that I was being irresponsible for pursuing them. So, I reacquainted myself with the loop of practicality. This is when I began to wonder, what if I waited through that pause? What if I endured that discomfort?
I’m going to be honest and say that I don’t know what is past that moment of discomfort, but I’m willing to finally take that risk, because not taking that risk only keeps me in that loop of practicality and the easy breathing that comfort provides just isn’t fulfilling.
Sometimes, we have to finally hold our breath and dive in.