My college career started relatively unorthodox. I didn’t go to college straight out of high school, and it wasn’t ever really a thought for me. I always figured I would work at a company and move my way up the proverbial ladder. In fact, I was working for a company when I realized it would be in my best interest to pursue a college degree.
Despite a bevy of pleas from multiple family members and friends, I insisted on doing it my way. It wasn’t until I noticed all of the coworkers I had that were getting promoted had one thing in common, a college degree. I suppose I had to find out through my timing on my journey. Eventually, this forced me to turn my nose towards higher education. Or, at the very least, consider it. Which, in turn, led me to uncover a passion of mine, writing.
Everyone has a different path, and no two paths are the same. You may think yours is eerily similar to someone you know, but there are critical differences in your story compared to others. Perhaps no more relevant than the mere fact that your story is yours and yours only. No one can ever take that from you.
I say that because often we compare ourselves to other people. We get into this state of comparison with the people we grew up with, went to high school with, etc. Especially in today’s age, we look at these individuals on social media and close the app feeling relatively empty. Because on the surface, it seems these people are happier than us and live more fulfilled lives. Yet, it’s not until we get past this diluted way of thinking we realize:
“It’s about the journey, not the destination.”
Life is very much about exploring. You try your hand at many things and hope something sticks. However, I encourage you not just to hope something sticks, but to forge your own path so that something does. Many times we are so consumed in the destination, usually successes, and the finality of our journey, we don’t appreciate it for what it is along the way.
If you always look ahead, how will you ever fully be present at the moment? You won’t. You can’t because part of being in the moment involves self-awareness. To be aware, so much so, you know your current circumstances aren’t final. You know, if you put the time and energy into whatever it is you want to accomplish, it will be.
Forging your own path
The path you take in life may be the road less traveled, and that’s okay. Even if you do something similar to all of your friends, it’s okay. We must remove ourselves from this state of comparison. In doing so, we achieve two things. One, we allow ourselves to be fully present at the moment and be appreciative of what it is we do have. Two, and just as important, is that we allow ourselves to realize the beauty in our own story.
Rather than admiring other people’s stories from afar, we get a glimpse through the eclipse of our own lives. We see the best in ourselves. We look ourselves in the mirror and like what we see. We push ourselves to do better. We embrace and love our story just as much, if not more than anyone else’s. Because it’s our journey, one that we are proud of and were, are, and will always be a part of. What’s yours is yours, and there’s something to be had in that, that something is wondrous.