Accepting the life you did not want

We all have ideas of how our life should be and it changes over time. I expected to be working in the ocean by now, helping to save animals and make the world a better place, and to be single and care free. But here I am, sitting behind a desk, worrying about other people’s egos, happily married, and caring for a senior citizen as one would care for her child. I did not want this life. How could I have? I mean, no one talks about real life. And honestly, if someone did, it would not have resonated. We only know what we know when we know it. So what do you do when you wake up and realize you did not want the life you are living? Do you leave and abandon it all? Or do you accept it, realizing that you did in fact want this exact life as evidenced by the choices you made over the years?

Let’s take a moment here and make note of what I just typed. You did want this life. How do I know this? Because of every choice you made that brought you to this point. It’s frustrating to realize it is that simple. I know. But it is true. For me, I may have wanted to work in the ocean and save animals, but I did not make any choices that brought me closer to that goal. I may have thought I wanted to be single and care free, but I did not make a choice that brought me down that path. Instead, I made choices that brought me to my soulmate and brought me closer to my mother and grandmother.

So what keeps me at the desk, managing the egos? Is it the paycheck? Is it the coworkers? Is it actually true enjoyment of the work? Is it the fear of failing if I walked away?  Is it that my priorities shifted and what I live for is more important than the job? Honestly, it’s the fear. The fear of not finding another job where I can be successful. The fear of not finding an office that I would actually enjoy working at for 8 hours a day, five days a week, with people I genuinely enjoy seeing regularly. The fear of finding a place that would be worse. And there, with that statement, I realize something else. It’s not just the fear that keeps me at the job. It’s the idea that, if I’m scared I would actually land somewhere worse, then where I am cannot possibly be all that bad.  What keeps you with something that you did not imagine for yourself?

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