Stop Feeling Guilty for Living Your Best Life: Lessons on Taking the Road Less Traveled
I’m 31 years old. I am a producer, writer, blogger, brand rep. I am not married. My boyfriend is 20 years older than I am. I don’t want kids, but I’ll adopt the shit out of homeless animals for the rest of my life. I’m working on my dream of splitting time between California and Hawaii. I have an amazing chosen family out here in LaLa Land. I’m always looking for new things to explore, opportunities, and like-minded people to connect with. I really enjoy the bubble I’ve created for myself and I don’t feel sorry for not allowing certain things or people into it. I’ve found home, career, and love because I stopped feeling guilty and started moving forward.
I guess you could say that I am the apple that DID fall far from the tree. I was always into the arts, deep in my feelings, and rebelled against what was normal for them. My entire family lives in New Jersey. For some reason, Jersey never felt like home. There was a dissonance between my energy and the energy of the state and the people around me. My first step onto the road less traveled was going to college, for film and television, in Georgia. Then, I moved to Los Angeles, on a wing and a prayer, 2 weeks after I graduated. The rest has become my amazing history. A decade of ups and downs, discovering myself, and living my best life. To achieve this, I let go of fear… among other things.
Guilt trips are not cute, so when I feel like someone is projecting one on me, I shut it down. But sometimes, the guilt is your own because you’ve noticed that you dream bigger and do bigger things than those around you and with that awareness comes the realization that you’re outgrowing these people. It could be friends or family or even your employer! Outgrowing people is normal and ok. Some are meant to be flowers, but you were meant to be a might oak tree. Consider is a growing pain. Acknowledge the feeling and then let it go.
Really, it comes down to being a little like Goldilocks. Try out different things until you find something that is just right for you. Society has beaten into us that we need to figure out what we want to do at a young age, go to school for that (aka put ourselves into debt), be a slave for someone else’s dream, get married before you’re 30, have kids before your 35 and then just exist in this until you die. F&$k that! Choose discovery! Just because it’s scary to others, doesn’t mean you have to take on their feelings about it. Honor yourself. You can’t fit a square peg in a round hole. Sure, you could jam it in there, but it’s going to be uncomfortable. Why make your life uncomfortable just to keep those around you comfortable.
You, right now, have an idea of what your best life is or maybe you’re living it right now because you’ve already taken this journey. Embrace and honor every moment of it because the road that you took to get there has lead you to your true happiness. Many people will never experience this because they find contentment is just existing, but we have discovered what it means to truly live and that didn’t come from taking path most traveled. The dreamers are typically not afraid of being alone on their journey. They know that they will find their true tribe eventually.
I’ve been really inspired by some quotes from Steve Jobs lately, so, to close this blog, I’d like to share a few that have really resonated with me. I read these every day.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”
“We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise, why else even be here?”
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become”
“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”