The Possibility of Choice

A very merry Christmas to you all!! Late though it may be.

Beyond Christmas, this is day is very special to me. It is my birthday. Not just any birthday, it is my 30th birthday! I have dealt with a variety of emotions leading up to this milestone. The reality of the event evoked a deep introspection over the year that has led me to various epiphanies along the way. I’m still a work in progress, but I have made some headway. Perhaps I tell myself this to feel better about how things are moving…..Perhaps

Before we jump into things, a little background on these revelations. This all started at the beginning of the year, soon after my 29th birthday. It dawned on me that I had a significant birthday coming up, and it left me feeling challenged. Unrealised dreams and unmet goals stared at me square in the face, calling out my life plans and questioning their viability, or rather, the impossibility of them thereof. So I did what any rational, panicked, confused and supposedly ambitious 29 year old with unmet hopes did; I set approximately 10,830 goals to be accomplished by this Sunday. I’ll come out right out and say it, I’ve achieved about 10, and mostly by accident. You can LOL. But don’t cry for me Argentina, I’m doing so much better mentally and emotionally than I was at the onset of the pilgrimage through my beliefs. Through my various challenges, I’ve discovered the freedom of choice.

I put my entire life under unreservedly harsh scrutiny. Oh, I didn’t need an external performance review, I was tearing myself apart real good all alone. My finances, career, love life, health, hair…..it was all ripped apart, by my own mind.  I was determined to be a success story. I resolved to be the woman that people pointed at and said “did you see what she was able to do in a year?” I was going to be her. I didn’t even know who she was! And so, I determined to change. I followed the advice that I believed would lead me to who I thought I wanted to be. But she was really who I thought I needed to be for the world to approve of me. Dare I say it, I was completely unaware that I wasn’t pursuing my true purpose, and that is why I failed. I sat dormant and obedient to the voice of acceptability until it landed me in an unhappiness that shred the remnants of my already fragile self. I watched as I lost me, bit by bit everyday to the routine of adequacy. On the outside I was doing well, I was in the right place. But my heart knew, that still small voice stopped reaching out to me, for I had disobeyed it, and it mourned for me.  I had reached the end of myself.

The unquestionable redemption of seeing the bottom of the pit was that it forced me to open my eyes. I had no choice but to confront the woman I had become while pursuing the woman I thought I was supposed to be. In the many hours of introspection, I realised that I had given my power to be, to the opinions of a world, that cared not for the burden of the consequences of my silent devotion to them. And that, as Oprah would call it, was my AHA moment. The moment that I saw that in my refusal to make a decision, I had still made a decision. A decision to shrink, and be unremarkable. Choice is the single most undeniable freedom we are given. The power of a choice can direct your life down endless, wonderful or alternatively, destructive avenues. This choice to be me, that I had not made, had led me to allow my worth, and self perception to be determined by others. Needless to say, I was a mess. It took a very real life crisis to bring me into a position of honesty, that allowed me to confront failing myself.  In the darkness and hollow of solitude, the realisation came to me, just how potent a choice is, and the impact it can have on one’s life.  Choice is the power given to us, to decide the direction in which our lives should go. It is a simple, almost trifling thing that we as people are often unaware about, but a power that we exercise nonetheless, whether knowingly or unknowingly. We need not stay in situations that do not serve our greater good, unless we choose we want to.  What liberty! Like the first inhale after being held under water, I felt that I had a real chance at life.  A life that made me truly happy, that fulfilled me. A life of purpose!!

So, as I move into my thirties, I have made a rather bold decision (by other people’s opinion) to pursue myself without resolve. I am dedicating this new year to falling in love with me and discover who I am. Reawaken dormant hopes and revive the faith in the good person that I felt I lost oh so long ago. I am choosing myself. That seems strange to say even now, it still feels foreign to validate myself above the approval of others. I will get over that, watch this space. One thing I will give thanks for during my challenge this year, is that the perplexity gifted me the freedom of choice. A gift for which I had no value until I realised I had allowed myself to robbed of it. My prayer for you is that you feel free from the requirements of men, and embrace the courage to make the choice that will bring you happiness this Christmas season, and into the new year!

I am Born Extraordinary

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