That’s all life is; a train wreck of choices and circumstance.
Every day we’ve had to make choices based on the circumstances of our life at that moment in time. It’s been that way ever since we were no longer shitting in our diapers. Sometimes we felt in control of those choices and other times it seemed like we didn’t have any other alternative.
Each of these decisions has led to exactly this moment. Whether your life is perfect or totally miserable, it’s this way because you chose for it to be this way.
If your life is good, you’ll agree with me. You know that everything you have today is because you worked hard to get it. You know there were times when you wanted to quit and it felt like the struggle wasn’t worth it. But you persisted and here you are. Everything might not be exactly as you’d liked it to be. But you’re okay with that because you know you’ve done your best and this is what you’ve got … what you’ve earned.
And if your life is shit, you’re going to argue and outline all the reasons I’m wrong. Or explain why you’re the exception. You’ll call me names and say I don’t know what I’m talking about. You’ll say I need to try living in the “Real World,” as so many people just like you seem to enjoy labeling their lives … as though there’s some alternate dimension I’ve been occupying all these years.
I know bad things happens. I’ve been through a lot in my life.
I was raised in a broken home by an alcoholic mother and a multitude of abusive men who came and went like the weather. My father committed suicide when I was in the third grade after I admitted to my mom that he’d been sexually abusing me. I used to blame myself for his death. It’s still hard sometimes not to feel responsible.
I’ve been homeless, sleeping at friends’ houses until I was no longer welcome. I had no other place to go. Sometimes I’d stay the night with complete strangers that my mom would meet in the bars. I was twelve when I first smoked pot and I started drinking and doing drugs regularly as an escape from it all a few years later. I was arrested and put in jail at eighteen.
I’ve lived in the “Real World.”
I didn’t like it.
Changing my life didn’t happen overnight. It happened slowly, one choice at a time. The choice to get clean. The choice to go back to school. The choice to get out of debt. The choice to travel. The choice to live life on my own terms. The choice to seek adventure. To find happiness. To be honest and vulnerable to hurt.
Even though none of us can control what happens to us, we still have the power to influence the outcome of our lives by how we react to any situation. Stop being a victim to the circumstances of your life. Don’t just be the product of other people. Choose yourself and begin creating a life you never thought possible.
It’s your choice.