You know the feeling, when you look at people who are happy and it makes you smile? Some of them are in a state of complete happiness while devoting time to their family; some of them are perfect example of highly valued specialists, who enjoy their work and it does not even matter what kind of work they do. There are children who know they will become neurosurgeons when they grow up and proudly announce that idea at the tender age of five. Knowing one’s path and following it is impressive. As much as it is amazing, it can also be intimidating. It can make somebody else feel really bad about themselves. By “somebody else” I mean those people, have no idea who they want to be in life. Apparently, I am one of those people. Do not get me wrong, I know my good qualities: I am smart, empathic and communicative, creative and quick learner. I am a mom of an amazing child, I successfully worked as a project manager, I am good at things that I like, which include cooking and handcrafts, I am fluent in a few foreign languages. The thing is I am still trying to find my path. I grew up and continue living in a society framed by rules and norms related to your age, sex, social status, etc. I have been taught and believed that when you reach a certain age, you MUST have a family, an established career, you MUST lead a certain way of life and even look a certain way; you MUST correspond to the applied norms.
I was living the life I was expected to live and it did not feel good. In fact, it felt really bad. I was feeling stuck for quite some time. It seemed that whatever I was doing was not working. I tried to understand what I was doing wrong and came to conclusion that I was not trying to find out who I was and what I really liked. I was simply trying to be normal. To live in my society the way people thought I should live. I tried to block out my weirdness, quirky things that make me myself, my ability to notice life’s beauty in unusual places, paying no attention to my inner impulses and sometimes even to my values, concentrating hard on the things I HAD to do instead of the things I WANTED to do. It took me years to realize that to me all those rules and norms were not important. Some of the most interesting, creative, distinguished and remarkable people never lived according to the rules imposed by others. Life is not about requirements that we have to fulfill; it’s not about safely getting from point A to point B via shortest and most comfortable route. Life is about self-discoveries, attempts and failures, happiness and pain, realizations and lessons, moments of pride and shame, life is about LIVING. The fact that right now you have no idea where exactly you are going does not mean that you are a useless, hopeless loser. It simply means that you are on the way and you can go anywhere. It does not mean that your life is worth less than the life of someone who has already found his or her path or someone who conforms to all requirements and is an exemplary member of society. It simply means that you are learning.
My life has taught me many lessons so far. I have learned that opportunities can wait around every corner. It takes courage and creativity to notice them though. People can be crueler than you thought. But then they can be more caring than you could have expected. Life can change every day, every minute and every second. You never really know the turn that your path is going to take next time. Or when it will happen. I have learned to see beauty in all those changes. I am learning to change when my life gives me an opportunity to do so. It is not always easy. Sometimes it is really hard, but it gets even harder if I am the one sabotaging the process.
I had to admit the main reason why I was holding back and fighting the changes instead of embracing them. The main obstacle I had to overcome was fear. Fear of being different, fear of trying, fear of failing, fear of living and breathing free. Fear takes so many forms. It may be disguised as excuses, anger, refusal, even procrastination. Fear prevents us from taking possibilities; it makes our mind numb to the gifts that this life is offering. We give up on our dreams, wishes, and fantasies, in exchange choosing to keep our thoughts and feelings locked in the cage, welded by fear.
It is not easy though. Often it feels that I take one step forward and two steps back, but I am not giving up. After deciding that I wanted to change, I started taking steps towards that change, and I will not allow my fear to make me numb again. There are many things about myself that I find difficult to accept. My mind is willing to run on prejudices, preconceptions, and false self-images created by society and media, fueled by opinions of people, who do not even matter to me. However, I keep searching for the ways to open up to myself and to the world. I want to walk my path as a free traveler, not qualified by any definitions or locked in any frames. Maybe I even want to redefine myself using previously unused definitions, created for me by me.
I am living my life and learning my lessons. To me, the fact that we are here means that we have a right to be here. The way that we are. Every single one. Including me. I can be who I am even if I can’t define what it is. The universe gives us chances to be our best selves. It would not be fair to me, if I refused this opportunity. I believe that deep down inside we already know who we are, we just have to remember that. It takes courage. It means that we have to take untraveled roads and refuse to live by someone’s expectations. I am sure this path will make me cry on more than one occasion. Because it hurts to give up on my usual comfortable state of mind (even though I know it is not real me and it does me no good), but also because my heart is dancing with joy when I liberate my creativity. It is all good. I accept it.
I do not know where this path takes me, but I know that it is not so important. What really matters, is the way my fingers tingle when I write, people that I meet on the way, gorgeous sights of the world that I am traveling, constructive criticism that makes me grow, ideas, smiles, blessings, the beauty of it all. And most importantly: me, fighting my fear. Doing something although I still feel scared. Like writing this article and speaking my mind. All wanderers, dreamers and creators, those of you who feel afraid and do not know who you are, those who are searching for your path and are ready to start living, no matter if you are 5 or 85, you can start your journey now.