Choosing the path of least resistance is our go-to instinct. It’s more favorable to take the easy route in most situations because let’s face it: We have too much going on in our lives as is to bother suffocating ourselves with unnecessary challenges.
We don’t need to be preached to about how challenging ourselves fosters growth and development, even though it does.
Instead, we need to recognize how the absence of challenge forces us into the mediocre and in doing so, ends up hurting us more than we anticipated.
At one point or another, we all feel like we’re missing out -- on something, or someone, or somewhere -- and even though we can’t quite pin down exactly what we feel that we’re missing, we know we’re missing it, nonetheless.
It’s not emptiness necessarily, or discontent even; it's more so a yearning for something more, something different, or maybe even something better.
But how often do we actually reach out and try to grab for this factor, this intangible force or change that might just give us a sense of ultimate fulfillment or joy or whatever it is we think we need?
More often than not, we don’t.
We jump into relationships because we think that being with someone is better than being alone. We take the job offer we’re not really sure about because it’s better than the risk of not getting another offer.
We stay in friendships that are no longer enjoyable and at times, more detrimental than they are beneficial, because of all the years and time we have invested in them.
Life is too short to wait around. More importantly, it’s too short to keep ourselves locked in relationships, situations and places that we view as obligatory.
It’s hard to keep our hearts and minds open to the possibility that maybe, one day, someone will come back to us.
It’s undesirable to wait an extra hour for a cup of coffee until the coffee shop brews your favorite roast again, and it’s not exactly enjoyable to stay up all night fixing, editing and rewriting a paper, dissertation or a report when we know it’s sufficient as is.
We shouldn’t be playing a constant waiting game, but sometimes, in settling, we live a life of equal monotony. It’s all about balance, the perfect combination of action and patience, and of change and anticipation.
We shouldn’t always be waiting around for the best to come, but we also shouldn’t be waiting around, treading water in complacency.
You are under no obligation to keep people in your life who don’t make you happy, to keep working a job or attending a school that makes you miserable more often than it brings a smile to your face, and you certainly are under no obligation to wake up every morning and keep living a life that constantly makes you crave more.
You are under absolutely no obligation to accept, reject, keep, release, love or hate anything other than what you believe to be right and what you desire.
You map your life and decorate it the way that you want, regardless of any pressures or influences you may think factor in to your decisions.
Of course, making changes comes with consequences, and it’s these risks and the possibility of failure, loss and negativity that stop us from going after what we really want.
You can’t exactly uproot your entire life and make drastic changes when you know that your actions will affect everything about yourself, including others. This isn’t only terrifying, but also a double-edged sword in that sometimes, we know the changes we make may hurt those we care about.
Although, maybe these changes don’t need to be so drastic. Maybe we can start with the little things and take small steps towards these big changes we really seek, that we’re really curious about.
Start with conversation; speak up about what’s bothering you to the person who's been bothering you. Don’t spend years waiting for one person; promise yourself that you won’t completely close yourself off in the event that said person chooses to come back into your life.
You don’t have to go to the extreme, but not settling means not standing still.
You’re the only person who knows what’s most important to you. You’re the only person who knows what makes you truly happy, just like you’re the only person who knows what you need to do in order to get there. Start making moves and start pulling yourself forward.
If you fall flat on the ground, at least you can look up at the sky and the possibility it holds.
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