Friends of mine in high school who took the college track, followed their dreams and have long time careers in their given fields. That’s not to say “life” didn’t happen to them, as well, but they remained focused on their “prize” of success and plans of what they wanted to do.
My destiny was different. I married and had five children! Having never really been in the work force it seemed to me the only thing I could be good at was being a mom! It made me wonder if I could ever be good at anything else! I branched out a little after my last one entered kindergarten because I had a serious case of “empty nest syndrome,” and worked a few years as an Instructional Assistant.
But what ultimately made a difference is when my youngest started college, I made the decision to, also, finally go to college! What is ironic is my major was “Elementary Education!” After all those years I was going to follow my dream. Ultimately, however, it wasn’t “education” where I chose to make my career; it was in writing. I’m certain I’m not the only woman (or man) who has followed this "different" path. It wasn’t the predictable way to “follow my dream” but becoming the person I was destined to be, required making a commitment to stay focused on my goal.
It’s clear then to say, our choices ultimately dictate where our lives lead. Sometimes we make good choices based on the knowledge we have gained, in addition to advice from others. Other times we choose to follow our heart, and that isn’t necessarily a bad choice, but can certainly lead us in a direction we hadn’t planned!
What is sad, however, is when our choices take us places that are harmful to ourselves or to others by default! I have one friend who seemed destined to have a career and all the good things in life. But she began making bad choices and then the bad choices began to snowball as they built upon each other. The dishonesty used and consequences of her choices and behavior, created all kinds of problems that have haunted her well into her adult years.
So I challenge you to reflect on your life to see if the line of choices or decisions you have made over the years have brought you to the place you expected to be when you were young, or high school age. Did your life turn out like you planned, or because of circumstances or consequences of decisions made, your path completely changed? Could you have predicted your current destination based on the decisions you made twenty, thirty or forty years ago, would have placed you where you are today?
What changes would you make if you could do it all over again? Would your decisions be the same? What advice would you give a young person, should they be willing to listen, about decision making and paths followed?