May 8, 2012

the joy of choosing.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about balance. I've been thinking about moderation and stability, about pushing hard but knowing when it's time to pull back. All too often I find myself in a go, go, go frame of mind that I'll maintain just as long as I can—usually until I burn out or get sick or someone (Radley) tells me that I need to dial it back. That I need to breathe. All too often I'm ten steps ahead of the present, my mind lingering somewhere in the future until I realize that the here and now is passing me by.

In reading The Happiness Project, this idea struck me: One of the hardest things about being an adult is realizing that while you can do anything you want, you can't do everything you want.

This, I think, is one of the things I've struggled with most. I've always wanted to be on Broadway, to write, to be a children's book illustrator, to design shoes, to name crayons, to act. And yet, I was forced to choose—to pick one dream from the giant pool I'd been collecting for years. Decisions, truthfully, have never been my strong suit. I crave the security of a black-and-white choice, but at the end of the day, I tend to feel a bit more comfortable in the gray area.

Still, I chose writing. When faced with the potential of anything, when I had to choose something, I opted for writing. Language, words, stories—at the end of the day, I knew that's what would make me happiest. And part of growing up—a marker of maturity, I think—is accepting that there will be days when you say What if? There will be days when I wonder about New York and the stage, when I pick up my sketchbook and wish I could see my shoe designs come to life.

But then there are days when you wake up and pinch yourself because you get to do one of those things. You get to see one of those dreams come true, and isn't that enough?

It is. It's more than enough. And it's in that epiphany—in that gratitude—where joy is found.

(Photo: The Bay | My Flickr)


Kristyn said... [Reply to comment]

While the picture was beautiful, so was your words. Life is all about the choices we make, and you're right we can't do EVERYTHING we want, but we can do anything. Thanks for that quote, I may just read the book.

sammi marie said... [Reply to comment]

This is so, so true. I've always struggled with the same and recently had a baby which only adds to the wishing I could do everything- like maintaining my career AND being there for my son full-time. It's good to know I'm not the only one! :)

shelly said... [Reply to comment]

...realizing that while you can do anything you want, you can't do everything you want.

This is so true!

Liz said... [Reply to comment]

Beautifully written.

Tammy @ Lemons, Avocados and the Bay said... [Reply to comment]

Such an important concept... and such a beautifully written post =)

I found your blog via and really love it :)

Laura Marie said... [Reply to comment]

@Tammy @ Lemons, Avocados and the Bay Thank you! And welcome :)

nancy said... [Reply to comment]

this is so very, very true. such a hard lesson to learn.

Nicole Marie said... [Reply to comment]

I'm loving your Happiness Project quotes. I need to read it