I sit here on a Sunday evening in mid-November, 2011, and wonder where the days have gone. It feels like only yesterday I was graduating college and the world was full of possibilities. I look back at how much I let fear keep me from chasing my dreams. I just floated through life, working many jobs that did not require a college degree to pay the massive and asinine debt I amassed while in college (and shortly after college). I drank too much, cared what others thought too much and convinced myself the dreams others had for my life were also my dreams.
I have often convinced myself the dreams of others were the dreams I held. It's one of the reasons I bought a house, even though I enjoy moving around a lot. It's one of the reasons I quit writing and continued to work a variety of low wage, entry level jobs which required absolutely no passion. It's one of the reasons I chose not to use the networking I had done to interview with companies I would have enjoyed working for. It's one of the reasons I continued drinking long after I knew I should stop. I was in control of all of these decisions and I know it. I also know fear held me back from chasing my own dreams and following my own path.
Since opening my eyes and seeing what I was doing, the great things is I have control over my future. I get to decide what comes next in my life. If I want to make changes, then I get to make changes. If I don't make the change, then I have no one to blame but myself. It's different when I can see it clearly. Before, I could blame it on things not working out, the world being against me or it just not happening the way I wanted. This knowledge is invigorating and terrifying at the same time. While I can't snap my fingers and make things exactly how I want, I can put in the hard work and the time to get there.
I get to choose my path in life. While this may seem like a hugely daunting task, there will be numerous other paths to follow as well. I can change my mind and choose one of the others. This is the gift most people don't realize...we don't have to live the rest of our lives with the paths we have already chosen or the ones we choose now. Follow your dreams and if your dreams change, follow the new ones. Live the life you want to live...the only person stopping you is you.