We Don’t Have to Choose


I’ve often spoken on the unsettling truth that no matter how much we plan, no matter how much we know, it is very rare that our lives follow those plans. More importantly, when we listen, our lives turn out so much better than anything we ever could plan. How boring is that anyway? Following our plans? We dream and we should dream but we shouldn’t get rooted in one idea. Inflexibility almost always ends in disaster. That’s what I’ve seen, anyway.

This may sound stupid and it may sound yuppy but I have to say–I am at peace right now. I’m starting grad school in the fall (Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology) and a future is unveiling itself to me, a brilliant and exciting and edifying future. Now look at silly me, I’m planning again. Or dreaming. Mostly believing in myself.

I’ve stopped living in three different places in my heart and am really truly digging in here. My home is home, my work is my work and I am not giving up anything or disappointing anyone or at least not disappointing myself. People get weird around me. They either feel like I wasted time in undergrad because I majored in the arts or like I’m forsaking my music and theatre now because of what they like to term my “day job” and chosen grad program. There is no way to say this other than, “everything I have done and everything I continue to do builds on each other”. Believe me, it took me a long time to recognize this, but here’s the honest adult truth–I don’t have to give anything up. My biggest struggles have always gone back to the root problem of having too many passions and not wanting to choose. But you see, the world doesn’t compartmentalize that way, and it’s a great thing! We are all made of all of our experiences, not just the ones we pick and choose at certain forks in the road. Also, we all always have the rest of our lives to live. Certainly this does not mean that these lives are unlimited and we can unconditionally plan on years and years. But even if those lives are only days or weeks or decades, each one of those moments are filled with endless possibilities and chances to do what we want.

All I’m saying, and not very eloquently, is that I have no need to package myself into little tiny boxes labeled with “arts” and “work” and “family” and “money” and “happiness”. It would be nice if others would stop trying to package me as well, but I can’t stop them from getting upset about the fact that I don’t fit perfectly into those teensy boxes. If that’s how they want to spend their time and energy, even though I find it completely flabbergasting, they are welcome to do so. I’m just not going to listen.

Sincerely,

Emilie

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