This evening I got a call from an old friend asking for career advice. Like I know what I'm doing with my life! And I had dinner with my friend Sam who is currently deciding between two outstanding job offers and looking for advice anywhere she can find it to help her choose.
To each of them I asked the same question: what will make YOU happy? Stop thinking about what your parents want, what your bosses want and what your friend told you to do earlier this afternoon. How do YOU feel? Sometimes you know the answer to that question right away, and it just takes a little coaxing to feel confident enough to admit it. At other times, you really have to listen to your heart to find out which way you are being pulled. But mostly, your gut and your heart are just as muddled and entangled as your mind is. And that's ok, because you don't have to know right now. (Except in poor Sam's case as she needs to make a decision by 5pm tomorrow-good luck girl!)
I know how this feels, being stuck, because a few months ago I found myself in the same predicament. I worried and fretted over a career choice, trying to avoid taking the 'wrong path'. What I failed to realize was that neither path was WRONG and neither path was going to make or break the rest of my career. They were just different. No matter what decision I made, it would be the right decision for me in that moment because it would be MY decision (or it should be) and no one else's. As long as I could say that I followed my heart (cheesy, I know) then I would know I made the right decision.
Unfortunately, I did not follow my heart despite the screaming protest it put up. I stopped doing something that made me happy because other people told me I should. I was not being true to myself. (Aha! A self honor dilemma, you know how much I love harping on self honor!) It's taken me a while to realize my mistake and that's ok. Because I don't have to know right now. I don't have know how to fix it either.
So here is my advice to all of you who are stuck at that ominous fork, take the path that you believe will make you happiest and go with it. If you don't like where it leads, create a new fork in your road and change directions. Change your mind, make mistakes. It really is ok. And no this is not a valedictorian graduation speech.
Deciding that Greg was the guy for me and that I was going to commit to a long distance relationship with him was a no-brainer and probably one of the easiest and quickest decisions I have ever been asked to make. I didn't even think about consulting my friends and family, I just knew. In fact, my heart my gut and my head were all shouting the same thing at once: HE'S THE ONE! In case you are wondering, Greg stuck by me through all of my hemming and hawing over this path or that path and would have stood beside me with whatever decision I made.
Today's lesson: Do what YOU want, when YOU want to, for the reasons that YOU choose. No one else knows you better than you know yourself.