I went to high school in a small town in central California. Other than being a gold rush town, I don’t know much else notable about Mariposa (and I apologize to all who live there for not having other interesting factoids). I rode the school bus down from Yosemite each day and for a bunch of teens, an hour each day was a long way. But the good part was that the school pulled in people from all over the region, and so I met a lot of other kids. There’s just a handful I still keep in touch with and I’m on a Girl’s weekend with a couple of them right now.
I was thinking this morning about the interesting turns our lives have taken. How, starting with the same schooling, we’ve ended up being much different people. One is in finance living inSan Francisco and the other in Alaska, a physician. What led us down the paths to where each of us are right now were choices.
I chose to go to UC Davis and after school, quickly entered the Human Resources field. Not too long after that I got married and had my boys. I’ve stayed in California the majority of the time and now live outside Sacramento, still working in HR, kids long gone, with my awesome husband. Through the years though there have been times when i didn’t really choose the path I was on. I let circumstances dictate what I did or didn’t do, the path I was on. In reality that’s making a choice.
I don’t regret the path, it’s uniquely mine, but I’m conscious of not having chose some of the turns. What I was thinking about this morning while getting a deep tissue massage (essential for Girl’s Weekend), was how not making a choice is still a choice. I differentiate that from making a choice to let someone else decide, for example, where to go to dinner, or on vacation. Passively choosing to let others direct your career would be a whole different story. That’s not making a choice.
The thing about not making the choice is that its easier to not hold yourself accountable. Yeah, sit on that for a minute. It’s victim mentality. Things happen to you, but you are not an active participant in your life. Easier to blame others, but really, it’s not about them, it’s about you (or it’s about me). By choosing not to choose, you decide to give your power away.
I’m making a choice not to do that anymore. The authenticity thing again. Being authentic with myself means making choices. I’m not talking about making monumental choices in this moment, per se, I’m talking about making conscious decisions about the direction life takes for me, as an individual and in my marriage. Making choices that bring more love, kindness, peace and joy into life. Whatever happens from there, I’ll own it, because I chose. It’s being brave.