We hold a fear in our mind and our hearts – and we hold it very dear.
It sits within us, every once and awhile mustering up the courage to come out, every once and awhile causing us paralysis – an inability to just, simply, move.
We fear that we will look back one day and wonder “what if.” We fear that we will one day tell our children of our youth and wish we had more to say. We fear that we aren’t taking enough chances – that we are playing it safe in the name of societal norms and the burdens of adulthood. We fear not living true to ourselves due to our need for acceptance, security, and a perceived lack of time.
We fear not following our dreams.
We fear that we will look back one day and wonder “what would my life be like had I not held so steadfast to the picture of what my life would be like in my head.” We fear that we will one day have no children to tell our stories. We fear that we are making irrational mistakes in the name of following our gut and not living for the man. We fear that, in the pursuit of living true to ourselves, we are losing sight of what that even means.
We fear chasing the wrong things.
But mostly, we fear that our deepest desires and dreams will not bring us the peace we are looking for. We fear that we will never find contentment – that we will run to the next thing our whole lives in search of something more.
We fear we have lost ourselves in the journey to our futures. We fear that we aren’t living in the present moment, enjoying each day.
These fears butt heads as they storm through our thoughts. We choose to go, and then we choose to stay. We choose to take the road less traveled, and then we choose to just be.
We are confused as our fear haunts our dreams and our minds.
We just want to be happy.
We just want it all.
We want the career, the apartment, the book deal, the city. But we also want the mountains, the family, the love, and the tent camping.
We want it all.
And we deserve it all.
But not all at once – not all today.
As we choose our paths, as we make decisions that will, inevitably, affect the rest of our lives, our fears cause us to question our every move.
Should I have taken that job? Should I have moved to that place? Should I have stayed put? Should I have ended that relationship, that opportunity, that road of life? When things don’t work out, do I assume it’s not meant to be or do I keep pushing?
The problem with these questions, is that we will never know the answers. We will never know if we made the right choice or the wrong choice, because the truth is, there isn’t a right way to do life. There are many different ways, and as long as you are authentic, as long as you are happy in the pursuit – you are doing it right, you are doing all you can.
Sometimes, we wish someone would just choose for us – just tell us what to do, where to turn – who we are. But we realize we don’t truly believe this. Not one bit, not at all.
We see ourselves in all different sorts of lives. We see ourselves by the beach, we see ourselves in a corporate firm in New York, we see ourselves writing in the woods. We see ourselves with a family, a brownstone, a farm.
We think there has to be just one.
But there’s not.
Because the world is too incredibly full of depth for that. There is too much to see, too much to do. There is simply too much to choose just one path and not wonder what the other road would look like.
It’s the human condition.
And so, as we navigate, we struggle to balance fearlessly following our dreams, with wanting to live in the present and embrace our realities. We struggle to make decisions and turn down good opportunities for fear of the unknown. We struggle in thinking the grass is greener, when our lawn is already perfectly mowed.
We all fear.
How do we make sure we are not giving up on our dreams while also taking life as it comes and embracing opportunities that present themselves?
I don’t know. I don’t have the secret sauce to overcoming this. But I do believe that things work out. I do believe that things come into your life for a reason. I do believe in letting life come to you as you work hard to be your most authentic self.
But how you handle those opportunities, I think that’s up to you.
And I think, all you can really, truly do, is not second guess yourself as you choose. All you can really do, is take it all as a learning experience in life.
All you can really do is learn the lessons that life is teaching you with each choice you make.
That’s all you can really do.
Embrace what you’re drawn to. Embrace your opportunities. Embrace your choices.
Embrace your fears.
And most importantly, try to not think about this shit every once and awhile, you should be out there living, afterall.