It’s been a good year for self-growth. I’ve accomplished some things that I’m pretty proud of, and made some solid progress on things that matter to me. But at the same time it’s been a frustrating year. I’ve taken advantage of some specific moments to stand up and ask the universe for things I really want, and to my disbelief and disappointment the universe said “no, you’re not ready”.
But f*ck that honestly.
Why let big changes in my life be determined by things outside my control? Waiting around for permission to have the things I want is such a waste of my time. The happiest times of my life have always been when I made choices completely independent of anything or anyone trying to impose direction on my life.
For example, going off and backpacking alone for 2 months in Asia was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
(Ok yes, talking about merits of world travel is maybe beating the proverbial dead horse of blog writing, but if I’m still thinking about a trip nearly 4 and half years later, it must’ve been good for me.)
It wasn’t just good for me because I had some white guy-tourist pseudo-enlightenment light bulb moment, but because I felt like I was deviating from my own script. Saying to the life I was living “actually I’m doing this other thing now.” Even if at the time it seemed selfish or pointless from an outside perspective. Something about going totally alone specifically was so terrifying to me at the time—I never categorized myself as an outgoing enough personality type to do that. But it feels important to me that I looked inward and said: “Yeah, I’ve decided just now that I’m capable of this” even if I didn’t believe it at the time.
Spending the last two years in school was a thing I decided independently I was going to do, and it’s given me a whole new breadth of creative direction, artistic purpose, and ownership over a set of skills that are actually worth good money (surprisingly), which is pretty neat. Was that part of the plan? Who knows really, but it felt like it was a thing that came from within—and again—that alone is really empowering.
I did this with music too a couple years back. Tired of scouring the unholy grammar-less depths of kijiji to find band members, I could only find metalheads and 40-something cover bands looking to relive the 80s (No offence intended toward metalheads and 40-something cover bands looking to relive the 80s. You do you, friend). So I just made myself into a whole band, wrote some stuff down that I cared about, and said it to some people in bars in the city.
With all of these lonely ventures, there’s been difficult moments. Times where I find myself second guessing the choices that led me to them. Times where I ran out of internal wisdom, inspiration, or motivation. But regretting any of it, for even a second, feels like a betrayal of my identity, ya know? Because these are the real choices that have turned me into the person I’ve ACTIVELY DECIDED I wanted to be.
It feels so much better to happen to your life, rather than to just let it happen to you.
Such a key difference there obviously. Am I the one living my life, or am I just kind of wandering through the lives of others waiting for them to decide to affect mine? That’s a question I’ve been using to try to “check-in” with myself on a regular basis lately.
It’s Sunday today and a day where sometimes I feel kind of drained and aimless so I’m writing here to remind myself that:
I am the one who has to make me happy, not some external force or unexpected event.
I don’t have to look back very far in my life to see that the evidence is there. If I want good things to happen, I have to be the reason they happen. Doing it any other way will land me back in the mindset of waiting and wishing and eventually wondering, when is the good stuff coming?
SO. If you can never faithfully rely on the external world to create the life you see inside your own head, then there’s no reason you should ever wait around for it do that.