Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost
How will I know? (Don’t trust your feelings) // How will I know? (Love can be deceiving) – George Merrill (sung by Whitney Houston)
People have grown fond of saying that life is nothing but a series of choices. This may sound like a trivialization of something extremely complex, but it isn’t. Our choices define everything: our lives, our selves, and also the people around us, through their reactions to those choices, and the paths they choose as a result. So, in short, choices have a huge ripple effect, which is why they are so important.
Obviously, some are greater than others, but if you think about it, they all influence our lives and the lives of those around us, however insignificant they may seem.
This has been on my mind a lot recently as I enter the second half of my first year of adulthood, because as I think about my future, I’m starting to struggle with FOMO, or fear of missing out. Now, the story of its onset and progression is long and complicated, so I won’t bore you with details. It basically boils down to one question, which is as follows:
Should I change course and pursue education and eventually a career in the food industry, perhaps as a blogger/writer? Or should I continue my dance training to become a professional dancer, despite my ongoing struggle with injuries and questioning whether I still have the burning desire and passion to succeed?
The short answer is that I don’t know yet. And that’s okay, for now. I’m young, and I’m lucky enough to have incredible support from my family and the luxury of financial stability. So I have some time. Nonetheless, the fact that I will eventually have to choose, because realistically I can’t dedicate myself fully to both pursuits, scares me. I worry that either way, I’ll end up picking the wrong thing, therefore missing out on something. I’m terrified that someday twenty years in the future, I’ll wake up in the morning and wonder how my life would be different had I chosen the other path. Or, worse still, I’ll look in the mirror and not recognize the person staring back, because I made bad decisions (I’m not talking hair and makeup, though that is also a concern).
Maybe my worries are merited. Every day, I see people stuck in jobs they hate, with no way out and only dull regret in their eyes. It may sound silly, but one of my biggest fears is turning into one of those people. I never want to give up on my dreams or lose the fire of creativity and end up wasting my days in some dead end job somewhere. Life is too precious for that.
On the other hand, I live in one of the greatest cities on earth, and am lucky enough to have not one but two great passions. Some people struggle to find their single purpose in life, and I have trouble narrowing it down! Clearly, there are worse problems to deal with.
For now, all I can do is breathe, and try to focus on living my life exactly as it is right now. There is no need to stress about future scenarios that my pressured brain manufactured, that in fact might never become a tangible reality. My only priority is this:
Fully experience the beauty of the world and my own life within it. Make choices that serve my happiness and the happiness of those around me where I can, spreading positivity, love, and light wherever they take me. I hope you do, too.