Once, not too long ago, I was at a crossroads in my life. I had a choice to make and was having the hardest time figuring out what to do. I felt like I had two terrible options in front of me. A kind stranger counseled me that I was swimming in the wrong stream. That I needed to let go of negative thoughts, and focus on what I did want.
I struggled to see what she meant. To me the choice was very binary. Yes, or no. We had only spoken once, but what she said stuck in my mind like glue. I was working so hard on this problem she laid out for me. Finally, I was able to bend my mind enough to see what she meant. If I were to take away this one choice, and envision the life I wanted, what would that look like? I worked backwards from there to see that if I said yes at that point, I’d never have the life I envisioned later. It seems simple, but it was quite the revelation to me.
I found myself in a similar situation again in October. I had broken up with my boyfriend, but the pain was intense and I wasn’t sure of my decision, so I went back to him. I was panicked and full of anxiety. I had made the wrong choice again. But I wasn’t ready to get out. I wanted so badly to be in a relationship. So I stayed, and I spent my days consumed with confusion and dread. What other options did I have? Then I remembered: I was swimming in the wrong stream.
I made a list. I wrote down all the things I had control over and strove to move my life in a positive direction while I worked out the question of my relationship: I knew I could take care of my body and eat healthy, I could see a therapist and a life coach, I could spend time with my most enlightened friends, I could start this blog, I could plan a trip. I did those things, and within three months, I had my answer once again.
Today, I feel so much freer. Not stuck. That’s not to say there isn’t work to do. I am so relieved to be single, and very happy with what I’m learning right now at my job, but I’m in Arizona, and summer is (always) right around the corner- I hate that. I want more fulfilment out of how I spend my time. These things seem conflicting to me. Because I’m back in the wrong stream.
I wrote a new list, and have a pretty good one going so far. I’m certain I’ll find my answer given a little time. The best part for me is that for the first time in months, there isn’t dread and discord lurking behind the page. I found my way back to the right stream.