While on my way to work, driving under grey skies, along Vancouver city streets, a realization hit me like a lightly powdered doughnut.
If I hadn’t been paying attention, I would have missed it. The more I thought about it, the more the doughnut powder clung to its imaginary imprint on my face.
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be “that girl.” The girl who got married at 20, and had 3 kids by age 25. I wanted to be a wife and a mother. I knew I’d be great at it. If only I could figure out my circumstances to make that happen, my life would be fulfilled. Then I would be happy.
I was raised in a conservative household. One in which I watched my own mom closely. I felt that I too had the skills that it took to be a good mother. All I wanted was to find someone to love me and cherish me. I wanted to get married, to sign my life away at an early age, and I didn’t really care about much else.
I used my desire to get married and to have a family as a scapegoat for my life. For not knowing what else I wanted to do. Or who I really was. If I’d had the opportunity, I would have run full steam ahead into that life, and not really known who I truly am. Not taken the time to assess my own failures and achievements. To discover and develop my passions. To figure out how I like my eggs cooked.
Now, I can confidently say that I’m SO glad that I didn’t get married and that I don’t have three children. I’m free to explore. To discover.
I realized that I’m happy. I’m really, really happy. I’m content with my life. I don’t think I’ve ever said that out loud, and it feels empowering to say it: I’m content with my life.
We decide who we are. There is no specific rule book. What’s that? You’re unhappy with your current state of being? Change it. Do something. Join a book club, take a cooking class, sign up for dance lessons. Take the time to find out who YOU are. Uncover your greatest passions. Discover what drives you. Figure out how you like your eggs cooked.
Take risks. Make mistakes. Get hurt. Because it’s in those moments that who we truly are shines through. It’s in those moments that we get hit in the face by lightly powdered doughnuts. It’s in those moments that we inch closer to contentment and happiness.