So much of life is learning to become comfortable with who you are.
It has taken me a long time to get to this point.
It’s taken bumbling around in my own awkward skin.
Why did it take so long?
Why wasn’t it easier to just snap to it one day and decide: “I’m going to be comfortable now.”
It’s because life doesn’t work that way.
Life is a maze, and the protagonist is left to roam the winding halls.
Sometimes you go down a hall that seems pretty good; it’s well-lit and inviting. You stroll down that hallway feeling confident, smiling and even swinging your arms a bit—and then you walk right into a trap, a clamp that bears down. You realize that the hall was not what you thought it would be. So you turn around and start over.
This happens again and again and again.
Eventually, you think that the maze is rigged—that someone designed this horrible mess to trick and enrage you.
But, over time, you realize it has nothing to do with the way that the maze is set up. It has everything to do with you, with how you act, and with how you experience the world.
This is life.
Now I know who I am. I know what I like and how I want to spend my time.
I structure my days around reading and writing, activities that make my heart sing.
I limit the amount of time I spend on cooking—because I don’t like to do it. It doesn’t bring me joy.
Instead, I load up on healthy snacks. I eat nuts all the time. I’m obsessed with portable, healthy fats. They fuel my brain, just like reading and writing do.
But, remember, life is a maze.
So, inevitably, I bump into other wanderers, all of whom are on different stages of their life journeys. Many are convinced that life isn’t a maze, that there are precise and prescriptive ways to live.
I used to let their comments bring me down.
I don’t do that anymore.
Because I know myself.
I know what makes me happy—and I don’t need others’ opinions to be happy.
Why do you eat that?
Why do you read so much?
Why don’t you relax?
Why do you spend so much time cooking?
Why don’t you read more?
I am quite relaxed, thank you.
Because I know what makes me happy, and I’m going to go do more of that.
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This post was previously published on Nerve 10 and is reprinted with permission of the author.
Photo courtesy Unsplash.