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The Path to Success has a Fork in the Road

Hello, my darlings. It has been nearly two months since our last encounter. I hope all is well for you and that you have continued to find inspiration, even at the bleakest of times.

I announced in my last post, which also happen to be at the end of April, that I had been accepted to my graduate program of choice at my school of choice. So, starting this fall, I will be attending the Academy of Art University. Furthermore, I will be relocating to San Francisco, CA. My move comes at the end of the summer, which quickly approaches, and, as a result, I took the time to step away from Darling Afflatus because I needed to dedicate my attention and focus elsewhere.

However, after a 2 month hiatus, I feel ready to return to writing. I feel re-energized, invigorated, and prepared to write with new purpose and ambition. I am happy to be back.

As I said, I have changes well on the horizon, and this is exciting – yes. But, as life tends to remind us, not even the best of things come without some challenges. Though, I am sure many of you would not call it a challenge at all. To sum things up neatly, I was presented with a second, alternative option to my future that would have been just as good – or perhaps even better – than my current situation.

It probably goes without saying that, hardly anyone could see why this may be a problem. However, I think this was a prime example of the old saying, “too much of a good thing.” Due to a series of circumstances too complex for me to get into at the moment, I was presented with an opportunity to attend another prestigious school and study in a field I never would have considered myself good enough to pursue: law. However, a group of extraordinary people, who I admire greatly, saw potential in me and sought to cultivate it. They wanted to not only make the suggestion, but to also guide, mentor, and assist me in navigating this particular path. As for myself, I was beyond grateful… and even more so, astonished.

However, I was also presented with a predicament. I could only go down one of these two chosen paths, and in doing so I may very well being letting go, forever, the other. This was difficult: 1) Because I could see the probability for success in both, and 2) Because I could see the probability for extreme and utter failure… in both, which could ultimately lead me to lamenting my forgoing one over the other. Thus is the life of a Libra… but I digress.

I agonized over this. I really and truly did. Many tears were shed, mostly because I was overwhelmed with fear. Fear is an awesome and terrible entity in our human lives. It can drive us to heinous acts, and paralyze us into succumbing to horrid conditions. It can also be the shadowed valley through which we pass to emerge on the other side triumphant. Fear is necessary and loathsome. My fear was choosing a path and then regretting it a year or more from now. We have all had our fair shares of failure in life. After 31.5 years of making many mistakes, I would have preferred to have one less – life altering – mishap on that list. I wanted to get it right this time; and by it, I meant this zany game show we call life. I wanted to get something in life – my life – right just this one time. I wanted to be able to look back and say, “I am so happy I did this.” The other problem with life is that it is completely unpredictable. There was no sure way of knowing which path would be the best to go with in the long term.

As one of my dearest and best friends explained to me, “You just have to make a decision, and do not regret it or look back.” It sounds easier than it is, to be sure.

After a weekend get away to Northern California followed by some intense alone time house sitting with only two cats for company, I was able to have a long, introspective conversation with myself. I took the time to ask my self, with no outside input, what do I want? What do I really want? I also forced myself to recognize where my fear was coming from.

In being honest with myself, I came to the realization that what I wanted most was a chance to grow into the woman I had always dreamt of being. Family, while they can be loving, they can also be the murky waters through which the lotus seeks to escape. I needed to give myself a chance to grow, breath, and blossom. I needed to be a little selfish, and I wanted a chance to break away from everyone’s interpretations of me.

My fear was – and is – a more deeply ingrained psychological trauma, but I recognize it. I acknowledge it, and I realize its effects on me. I fear being in an abusive and toxic work environment; something that has happened to me in the past. That one experience has led me to want to shy away from certain challenges. In a way, I was scared into never taking a chance or trusting that doing something different could, in fact, work out for me. I was scared into conforming into the box others had set up for me. I was made to feel inadequate, incompetent, and incapable. I believed those images created before me, even though my logical side was completely aware of how absurd that seemed. I knew – know – in my heart, that no person has control over the person I am. But it is harder to combat that notion when you are placed in an environment where everyone has made it their personal mission to prove you otherwise. It was an incredibly unhealthy circumstance.

So, I came to these and other conclusions, as I sat alone, house sitting, looking over the city skyline with my friends’ cat cuddled up beside me enjoying a belly rub. I sat and contemplated this fork in my road. I gazed into that skyline until sleep washed over me, and my body finally gave in to the exhaustion of the day. I went to bed thinking that I did not want to be afraid anymore, that I wanted to prove to myself that there was still more for me – still hope for me. That I was not the smiling idiot they wanted to believe I was – can’t make this up, I was literally told I smile too much and it made me appear stupid. However, it was not for anyone else that I needed this. This was – and is – entirely for me.

I also went to bed wanting to break away from the labels and chains my family insisted I abide by for the sake of their comfort and at the sacrifice of  my own. We love our families, but I am not so blind as to not recognize that, love or not, my spirit would only continue to suffocate if I did not take the time to give it the room it desires to grow.

I awoke the next morning knowing, perfectly well, my choice.

My last day in Los Angeles, Ca and my first day in San Francisco, Ca will be at the end of August.

And my heart was – is – finally at ease.

So, my inspiration this post would be to earnestly press anyone in doubt to ask themselves the questions they fear most answering. That fear, I believe, is trying to tell you something important.

Until next time, may you always be sweetly inspired.


Featured Image Photo Credit: Two Roads Diverged in Yellow Wood via photopin (license)

 

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