“Self-definition and self-determination are about the many varied decisions that we make to compose and journey toward ourselves, about the audacity and strength to proclaim, create, and evolve into who we know ourselves to be. It’s okay if your personal definition is in a constant state of flux as you navigate the world.” (Janet Mock, “Redefining Realness”)
Somehow many of us seem to have picked up the idea that our life path will be straight and clear and unchanging. For example, we’ll choose a career direction and that’ll be the end of it. Or we’ll commit to a life partner and the relationship will be inviolate. Or our goals will be unvarying and we’ll always know exactly where we’re headed.
Perhaps lots of people have this kind of clarity. And for others, the road evolves in another murkier way. It can feel confusing and dark and thoroughly frustrating, that your expectations (those sticky little expectations) often don’t materialize as you had hoped. Or, rather, life often doesn’t progress as you’ve been programmed to believe it will. There can be so much self-judgement around our “failed” objectives. “What’s wrong with me? Why isn’t this working out? I’m trying so hard.”
The reassuring news is that there’s nothing wrong with you.
Life is messy. It twists all over the place in unpredictable rhythms and patterns. Life is not an energy to be controlled. And neither are you.
It’s fine for you to change your mind, to respond to a fresh calling that you may never have imagined. At the same time it’s alright to feel troubled about internal and external shifts. Give yourself permission not to have the answers. Let yourself be in the space of not knowing and release the shame that can come up around unmet expectations.
Your entire journey - all the dips and dives and dizzying high’s and low’s – these are what make you the astonishing and unique creature you are. Listen for the story that’s always growing within you. That’s your truth.