We are made by our decisions in life. Every little choice, whether big or small shapes the overall progression of how we want to be and our place in the world. Less than six months ago, I made a choice to apply for a job on the other side of the world. I’ve always wanted to travel, to meet new people and see places far from home. The world is a small place now and it’s amazing all of the opportunities that we have. Regardless of whether you are rich or poor, your decisions make you who you are. They are not always perfect, in fact, probably most of the time we do things in the moment that we either shouldn’t, or it is deemed that we shouldn’t, because it costs too much, it’s bad for you or it’s just not the conventional way that people live their lives.
But regardless, our choices, the decisions that we alone make shape our path. Choices are usually based on a variety of factors, whether those factors are monetary, experience based or in thought of others, they are all ultimately made by us. Some things however are out of our control. Other people’s choices can affect our lives and thus our progression into the future or the path that we then choose to take. This isn’t always a bad thing, but the difference ultimately relies on how we make those choices, weigh up the risks and move forward. Nothing is predestined and we always have to opportunity to grow and change; push the boundaries of what is set to be the ‘conventional’ school > uni > work > house > settle framework that is thrust upon us from such a young age. It takes so much courage to break that mould and push the boundaries, but there always has to be something more.
When you travel by yourself, whether it is for work or just on a long adventure holiday you effectively break that mould. You step aside from what is ‘expected’ of you, how others choose to live there lives isn’t necessarily better or worse than what you do, it’s just that difference in choice, because everyone is capable.
There is no telling what the right or wrong choice is for you by anyone else. Not your friends, your family or anyone. People can give advice, speak from experience but ultimately you are the decider. Which is horrifying. When faced with any decision, whether it be big or small, you can ask friends and family’s opinions, read blog posts, seek advice from random people you meet in parks in London, but none of that takes away from the fact that you and you alone are responsible for your life.
And people will always talk. They will always have opinions. They’ll tell you that you are biting off more than you can chew, you won’t be able to handle it and you’re doing things for the wrong reasons. But they don’t know your reasons. No one does. Not your boyfriend, not your best friends. You alone live with yourself and need to make decisions based on what you want out of life, not constructs of your life deemed appropriate by the experience of others. Like I said before, this isn’t to say that anyone else’s life is any better/worse than yours, but you need to make sure that you are making steps in the direction that you want your life to go, the person you want to be, irregardless of money, security or preconceived ideals of others.
While it is all very easy to say this, when it comes to a point in your life that you need to make a big decision, it’ll all go out the window. You will listen to what people say, consider others; aren’t emotions horrid for that? I am a firm believer that life is short, so ridiculously short that sometimes you don’t even realise, because you are so caught up in your relationship, your job and everything that goes on day to day in your life so you need to do what makes you happy. That is not often the easiest thing to do. It’s hard to realise what makes you happy, what is happiness if we don’t attach it to the company of others? While travelling alone has been fantastic and I have gone and done everything that I talked about wanting to do while over here, it’s inevitable that you attach happiness to people, who are fleeting. The realisation of that is a harsh one and makes me want to curl up in a ball and binge watch TV because it makes me sad, but I guess that there will always be people who come and go in your life, it’s just all part of growing up. The fantastic silver lining in it all is that we just don’t know what is going to happen. While that can be terrifying, it’s amazing at the same time. All the people that you meet, everything that you do is just a part of your story. It’ll be the conversation starter at the dinner parties you attend in 40 years time, and swap stories of all the ‘stupid’ choices that you made to get where you are. It’s so easy to live your life in the anticipation of that, but in doing so, are you really living? The day after tomorrow I turn 23. Now while that isn’t dead yet, I can say with certainty that I am happy with the person that I am now. I’m happy with all the shit I have been through, all the hurt and all of the good times because my choices have made me who I am today. And I am not any less or any more than anyone else and I don’t need any justification of my worth from others. I am thankful for all the hard times because they have made me truly appreciate how far I am come and how much further I am willing to go. I think that people need to think like this more often, reassess their choices from time to time; we only live once, it is so fleeting it is insane and this should be the basis for our choices.