Follow Your Own Path, Not Someone Elses

It’s one thing to do what others want you to do up until you turn a certain age, but it’s another thing when you are of that certain age you lead yourself in the direction you want to go.

I was talking to my coworker who is about to begin her freshman year in college and she came to me asking what the college life is like, what will happen, pros, cons, etc. I gave her the scoop of my experience while in Ohio and then I told her what everyone previously has told me: it is what you make it. That same concept goes for everything you do in life. Everything you lead yourself to doing has no effect on anyone except yourself. Being a leader rather than a follower in your own book of life will take you 10 times farther than if you were to chase after someone else’s dream in your own life.

I told her that up front because she mentioned that her grandmother, who was a teacher, told her about the schools’ education program, highlighted great things about it and wants her to go to school and teach. Basically, follow in her footsteps. I asked if that is what she wanted to do and she said no. I paused, asked what she wanted to do with her life and it had nothing to do with teaching, education and not even being at the university she is already enrolled in.

As soon as she told me that I realized she was about to make the same mistakes I made; following after someone else’s plan or dream. I told her the only reason I was in Ohio for school was because the guy I was dating for two years, we wanted to be close to each other — mistake number 1. He didn’t want to go down south, I did. I applied to Pace University in New York and him NYU, way too expensive. My other options weren’t close to his and vice versa.

Basically, a bunch of picking and choosing to accommodate someone else, completely disregarding the set plan I had for myself and forcing myself to think that nothing would be different, when there was no doubt that I would be. Mistake number 2 was evident, being at a school I didn’t like that much and now currently going through the process of a transfer student. I guess you can call all that sacrificing, but now that I am no longer dating the guy, part of me feels like I wasted three years being somewhere that I didn’t even think I would end up and living a life that I didn’t foresee. In retrospect, the past three years would have been completely different if I had followed my own mind and not lived in the moment.

Long story short, you only have one life to live and if you choose not to follow the path your heart desires, there’s no way you can predict positively what will happen. You are the only one who can make your life what it is without living with regret about what could have-should have. Living with could have-should have, would have never happened if you would’ve listened to yourself the first time around. Nobody else is going to get your degree for you, make money for you, take classes for you, apply to jobs for you, etc, none of that. Once you realize you are in control of your own life is when you’ll prosper the most.