You may be in a place in your life where your heart tells you one thing and your mind tells you another. You may be in a place where you are making pros and cons list. You may be in a place where you don’t know if going left or right is the correct path to take.
I was just there. I had one week to make a life-altering decision. It was arduous and terrifying. I filled all my friends and family members in on this predicament and sought their input, yet I already knew what I wanted. I just was not sure if my intuition was worth trusting.
We are told to be rational and think about the long-term implications. Screw the heart. Screw the passion. Screw the ambition. When I was weighing this decision, I knew that one way may lead me to more success and immediate happiness. I knew that was a safe, encouraged route in society. If I had gone with that choice, I’d be with people I love dearly for three more years. I’d be in the familiar, close to family… yet never fulfilled, for I’d spend my days dreaming of living a life vastly different, the other choice. I’d regret not going the other way, even if it meant change, unpredictability, sacrifice, and everything new. Even if it meant being on my own for a while.
While I was driving one early morning, I looked around. The two people next to me were eating their breakfast, facing the road ahead in a jaded stare. When the light turned green, they were quick to go, remaining in that same blank expression. At the next stoplight, I noticed the same thing. I observed this over and over and over. How could this be? Everyone in a constant rush. Everyone only working towards the two days off work where life won’t be a blur. Where they can finally live, not merely exist in this state of constant routine, pressure, and mindlessness.
We are told to seek the safety, the routine, the comfort, and the traditional path. We are taught to abide by these norms imposed by society, these norms that are believed to be a fulfilling way to live life. Anyone who deviates will be judged, deemed as incorrect or told that they are absurd.
The majority of those I consulted told me to continue with the choice to stay here and then seek my ambition after the few years left. They said I have my whole life ahead of me, endless opportunities. I can take the leap and deviate in my path in a few years, after I finish here. I don’t blame them for their perspective, for that is what they truly believe is right. Their points were valid, but my heart knew what it wanted. You see, when making choices like this, you will be afraid. You will fear that by taking this leap, you will be judged, lose people you are close with, or fear that what you predict will not go your way.
So what do you do? Life is fragile. You are born into this harrowing yet remarkable, beautiful world. For a moment you cross paths with others, form relationships, find what it is you love, and choose to spend your days a certain way. The next moment it is all over. This journey you lived ends, and you wonder as you grow older, “did I do everything I wanted?” For many people, the answer is no. They didn’t. They didn’t take the leap. They conformed to ways they thought would eventually bring them lasting happiness. They became puppets of society, dreaming of a life they could have lived. They wait for happiness all their lives.
Do not enable the world around you to alter what you seek from life. Do not allow trepidation to overcome you. Do not be ignorant towards reality. Do not put off your ambition. Remember who you are living for. Remember what it is that makes you feel filled with purpose. Remember that while you may be a speck in this prodigious universe, what you do during your short time in humanity matters immensely. Make that moment form birth to death meaningful, fulfilling, and alive, not just a period of existence.
So yes, whatever it is you want, jump. Jump even if you do not know what will happen. Close your eyes and envision that life you dream of. You have the world in your hands.