When Faced with a Fork in the Road, Choose the Scary Path

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Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash

I believe there are multiple versions of how our lives can turn out, and that our decisions determine which version we get to live.

In other words, one choice can lead to different circumstances which allow new doors to open, until so many opportunities have opened up for you that you now have the chance at a whole different life than the one you were previously headed for.

That’s exactly what happened for me.

Let me tell you — I’m still whirl-winded. It’s coming up on a year since I met my significant other, and I still have moments where I’m in disbelief that this is my life.

It’s almost like I shifted the laws of the universe a little bit. I just never thought I’d be someone who was allowed to be this happy.

How did I get here? How can anyone get here?

You’ve heard it a thousand times. I’ll tell you one more, anyway: DO the thing that scares you. Do the thing that you know would be a great challenge for you, that would fulfill you, but that feels uncomfortable.

That is all I can really credit this to. If you don’t know my story, here’s a brief overview…

I felt a void inside myself for my whole adult life. As many people do, I felt that something was missing for so long that I thought there was something wrong with me.

And as everyone pretty much does, I went through different phases in life in an effort to cope, or to compensate for this hole I felt.

Being in the wrong relationships made it even worse, because it was a temporary fix, but it would never be enough. Still, it’s hard to let go of that temporary fix if you don’t know it’s temporary at the time.

People around me pretty much told me I needed to stop “running away” and face real life. I needed to get an office job, drive through traffic each day like everyone else, and just suck it up. I’d meet someone eventually, somehow. I’d have my weekends to try and feel happy — to do work I actually enjoy.

This isn’t to say they were wrong, or that their advice was bad. It’s the reality for a lot of people. It just wasn’t mine, nor was it ever meant to be. I had an insatiable drive to exit that scenario altogether.

I was genuinely miserable living the “normal life”. So I followed my compass abroad, trying as hard as I could to change that fate. In reality, I was finally moving much closer to it.

I worked in the U.S. and then used those savings to budget travel and experience as much as I could. I wasn’t ever expecting to meet the love of my life while doing it. On the contrary, I was actually more so living in the mindset that I didn’t need anyone at all. I was happy alone, as long as I could keep rebelling against the mold.

However, my personal compass I was following knew better, and thank goodness a million times over for that. After a few months, everything started just falling into place, one by one. A year later, I couldn’t ask for much more out of life. The best part is that there is still so much excitement and adventure to come, and it will all just be bonuses from here on out. Extra.

Extraordinary.

The less comfortable your decision is, the less ordinary your life will be.

But what if you’re fine with ordinary? What if you’re truly happy as you are now? That’s totally fine! It all rests on your own personal compass. We each get our fulfillment in ways as unique as a fingerprint.

This article isn’t for those who have reached their destination. It’s for those who haven’t. And you know based on your compass.

Do you feel a sense of suffering inside, despite the fact that there is no real reason to feel that way looking at your life from the outside?

That’s your compass trying to guide you in a different direction from the route that you’re on. It’s as though we’ve all got a map inside us, which is pretty cool, if you think about it. All that’s left is to follow it.

Following it will not be easy or comfortable, but that’s the whole point. Maybe it takes those trials of suffering and pain in order to truly appreciate what’s waiting for us at the end…

And whatever your alternate, better reality may be, I can guarantee you you’ll find it by taking the scary path. The one that’s less agreeable, less accepted by everyone else.

That’s the one that will move mountains and part oceans within your life.

Written by

Born writer + passionate traveler + yoga instructor = content on travel & adventure, mental health & mindfulness, goals & motivation, love & magic ✨

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