My mom used to tell me when I was growing up, "You always have to learn the hard way. No matter what somebody tells you, you have to go through it yourself to learn and understand the consequences..." This is true to this day. I don't know if it's the skeptic in me, or the egoist, but I honestly am a little slow in terms of "getting it" sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I consider myself very bright in various departments (humble pat on back). However when applying sayings, philosophies, or just things people tell you as a grain of salt - yah it takes me a bit longer. Or maybe I just have to go through it to fully understand.
On that note, I am personally FINALLY embracing the idea that everyone truly has a different path to their own success or rather, anything they desire. Success, love, accomplishment, fulfillment advancement, etc. I've heard and read a GAJILLION times that "your path is unique, things are not going to happen the way you expect them to..." and yes of course I thought I was accepting that. However, I know I fall short of that acceptance when I have the poisonous thoughts of:
(you may relate to sometimes having these, or never at all. If never, then damn you're good at this...or rather, damn you're a liar?)
1. Compare myself to others and wonder why the same isn't happening for me
2. Let my age trip the hell out of me and tell myself it's too late to start anything new
3. Wallow in despair about doing something too long and not getting the results I think I should be getting.
These are all examples of really, shitty thoughts. Thoughts that are just thoughts. (hashtag deep) Anyhow - these thoughts will often lead to me thinking about my "path" and why it doesn't look like so-n-so's and so forth. Again, poisonous.
BUT! Through my experience of persistently pursuing this journey - this career choice, I am finally seeing the LIGHT. Shoutout to Common. For the song, not the revelation. Although I really do love Common and think he could probably offer insights causing revelations. Anyways... I read a lot of advice columns about what you should do with this, with that, network here, network there, train here, train there, buy this buy that, buy this buy that again, just buy everything b/c most people online are just trying to sell you shit....and it's easy to fall into thinking you have to do and purchase every product everything people are telling you about. But I'm realizing that there are many ways, different ways of achieving your dreams. Yes, sounds cliche I know. Those ways are all personal, subjective, unique. My ways can't be your ways, and your ways can't be mine. We all experience SO much different life every single day that we don't recognize. Our journeys may be similar, but there is no way they can be the same. I will be the only me, the only Janet Michele Langer to exist. Maybe somebody has my name, but they don't have my soul, my psyche, my behavior, my biological makeup. Or if there really is a clone of me, I'm definitely the funnier, more charming one. I digress.
I will openly use my relationship as an example. For as long as I can remember, I was dreaming of a soulmate who would be the man of my dreams. (Duh, I'm a girl) For many of my years I was lonely - longing for that special someone to share life with. I was extremely shy as an adolescent - deathly afraid of talking to boys. Seriously, I'd rather have been locked in a pitchblack closet then have to talk to a cute or popular boy. As I got older I always had guy-friends, a lot of gay ones at that - but not so much a boyfriend. My mom even thought for a minute that I was gay. Legitimate hypothesis. Fast forward to six years ago, I solemnly swear - that I believed I was going to be single for life. Then Sean came into my life, and (cue screeching brakes sound-bit) everything changed. He came into my life at THE most unexpected time under THE most unexpected circumstances. Well, I guess MySpace wasn't that unexpected. But considering my strange experience with meeting guys on there, it was. Anyways - this wasn't meant to be a blog post about my relationship - so I'll get back to the point.
My point is - that I'm finally learning about this unique path thing. I thought that since I hadn't had a "real" boyfriend until six years ago, I was going to be single forever. We put these thoughts into our head - these "if this, then that...'s" and they really are paralyzing to our creativity and our productivity. I shall rephrase that, to MY creativity and productivity, I shouldn't speak for others. That's actually a pet peave of mine. Anyways, I am so super uber guilty of them. Like, a lot. I am finally beginning to let go of the "if this, then that...'s". Again, I said beginning - it's a process y'all.
I believe that I am going to achieve my dreams in the most cock-eyed, unreasonable, unexpected, crazy, surprising, against the grain, not in the cards, from left field, maybe hated-on even, "way" possible. I also believe that I am ABLE to take the most (enter all adjectives above) risks to get closer to them. I feel that's what it's all about. Simply put - just doing my best and building new habits. Constantly contributing to my growth in the things I'm most passionate about. The reality is, it's not that simple. But- I believe it CAN be...and the existence of POSSIBILITY is all I really need.