When I started driving, my family always gave me a hard time when we would ride together and I drove because I apparently always take the long way to anywhere. I take the way with the most turns, the most lights, the lowest speed limit. I never did it intentionally, I just took what I thought was the right way to go and it always took longer or was more difficult to get there (but it still got me there). After a while, I took these ways even after learning the shortcuts because they were my routes, they were my streets.
What a metaphor for my life. I am always choosing the long way around. I want the job that pays the least; I take the classes that require the most work; I try to date the guys I really shouldn't. I pick the hard way to do everything. I bring the struggle on myself. This is very frustrating, especially when I see people around me getting everything they want and it's also what society tells them they should want and it just comes so easy. And to be frank, a lot of these people are settling. They are taking what comes because it's what comes.
But I had this epiphany this morning: life is a struggle no matter what. There are going to be seasons that just suck and are hard to handle. So why not struggle and choose the difficult way that gives you what you really want in life, rather than the difficult way that gives you something that is just okay? If life is hard work, then work hard for a reward you actually want.
Please don't be fooled that I have any clue what I am talking about or any experience or perspective. I'm in the thick of all this as you read. Everyday my mind bounces between the safe, logical path in my life that would be good pay and a stable job, or the adventurous, risky path in my life that would be so awesome. My mind (and heart for that matter) bounces between the questions of "Do I really want this?" Or "Do I want this because it's what everyone else my age wants?"
So basically my mind is a giant empty room filled with those quarter-machine bouncy balls you got as a kid. And the bouncy balls are hyped up on caffeine. And on fire.
You know that scene from friends where Ross finds out about Rachel and Joey's relationship? He keeps trying convince every that he's fine with it, and does so unsuccessfully. Well that's me to myself and everyone around me, just saying I'm fine. And you know? I will be. I will be fine because I will choose to be fine, and you will be fine, too.
So I'm going to choose struggle because I haven't lost hope that the reward is worth the struggle. I'll let you know how that works out.