taking a new path

It might seem like a cliche but there are few things in life scarier than taking a new path. When I say that, I’m speaking figuratively and literally.  For example, we all have those “routes” that get us home at the end of the day. That comfort level, that calmness we have being in control of how long it will take us to get home, is part of the everyday routine. Unfortunately, I think that we get too used to that comfort level and it translates into how we want to run our entire lives. It’s such a wonderful feeling to be in control that it becomes like a drug, and the minute you feel like you don’t have control it’s so easy to get anxious and worried.

In church we call it undo worry. I think it’s important to remember that this weird thing called LIFE was happening longgggg before we were born and sometimes it takes us in all different directions. Sometimes we itty bitty humans don’t really have much of a say in what happens. But that’s no cause for anger, self-harm, self-medication, or worry, no matter what form that could be. I think we all have different ways of handling life’s uncertainty, and while it’s something I’m still working on, I really admire those who turn to things like yoga, meditation or journaling. I’m quick to turn up the music full blast (in fact I just blew out my headphones the other day…whoops) because silence and solitary time just doesn’t work for me. I like noise, I like people, and I like “productivity”. It’s almost as if I believe that if I ignore or drown out my worries then they’ll go away. I’m starting to realize, however, that that’s not how life works! Dealing with your feelings, whether it be fear, worry, or even joy is something that needs to be proactively handled, not pushed under the surface until it comes out at an inopportune time.

I have doubts about where my future is. I have a little inkling about what path I want to go down but I can’t shake the feeling that it’s not the path I’m “supposed” to go down. Just as it’s scary to take a new path literally, it’s scary to imagine myself veering off my figurative plans. And while I can listen to as loud of music as I want and pound the pavement until I forget what I was even worried about, eventually I’m going to have to face this worry head-on. Eventually I’m going to have to have the courage to commit to a path, whatever that may be. No one minds an indecisive 23-year-old but I’m pretty sure this attitude won’t fly in few years 🙂

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So how am I going to start taking a more proactive approach to my life? JOURNALING. I love to write (duh), but I especially love to hand-write. So I’m going to treat these next few months like a class, taking notes and studying them regularly, to see if I notice a pattern in my feelings or thoughts. I’m not sure when the final exam will be, but hopefully I’ll be prepared 😉

I’m also going to make a conscious effort to do things outside my comfort zone, make last-minute plans and take paths that I’m not used to, hoping that I can get used to not being in control all the time. I’ve actually been doing a great job of that lately and want to continue, because I’ve realized that sometimes the best plans are the one you make at the last second! 

Last night I took an early-evening run through the city, on a path that I didn’t map out, didn’t know how long it would be and didn’t time myself. It was such a breath of fresh air from my usual patter of running from point A to point B, not to mention the run flew by because I was constantly turning corners, weaving through people and avoiding cars shooting through alleyways. I ended up running 4.69 miles. Anyone who knows my running style knows I usually hate those kind of numbers but I just stopped when I arrived home and called it a day. This run was a metaphor for how I hope these next few months will be, and if that run was any indication of the future, letting go of control will be just fine.

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And this morning I’m headed to work wearing my compression sleeves under my jeans. Can you tell?

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Ahhh the ultimate runner’s ruse 🙂 You’re welcome for that shot of my big, boney feet

Questions:

  • How do you deal with “undo worry”?
  • Are you afraid to stray from the path that you think you should be on?
  • What’s one time you “just went with it” and how did it turn out?

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14 comments

  1. Good for you–this past year has largely been about undo-ing worry for me. Basically, you are right where I was in Feb.-March of this year. And it can be super scary, but you have trust yourself. And as long as you act in a way where you still respect yourself at the end of the day, I say go for it!
    And compression sleeves? PSH COMPRESSION PANTS underneath your jeans–can’t tell you how many times I’ve done that (also under maxi skirts.

  2. Ahh loving all the pictures of Chicago! I am the worst at stepping out of my comfort zone so this post was definitely a great thing for me to read today. I hope you have a great weekend!

  3. Ohhh, the dreaded final exam of life!!! I think you’ll be prepared!! Hehe!! Awesome post and seriously, you have a great perspective going on! We think a lot alike! When I read your posts, I feel very connected to your words and to your mindset! I love writing in a journal, too- it gives you such a feeling of freedom!! XOXO!!! Keep up the self analysis!! You’re awesome!!

    1. Thanks I love the connection I’ve built with other bloggers like you! Such kind words. I really need to ACTUALLY start writing in a journal and keep it up! Sometimes I start to write but it just fizzles out. But it must help a lot!

      1. Awww, you’re so sweet and go for it!!! I know you’ll love the knowledge and insight you get from writing in a journal!!

  4. Doing things out of your comfort zone is the best thing you can do to prepare you for life. That way now matter what life throws at you, you know you can face it and get through it.

    The fact that anything lies ahead is exciting not scary! It’s just changing our mindset to realise that. Tricky but not impossible!

  5. I think I undo worrying most in remembering that we are all doing our best to figure our lives out – what to do, where to go, who to be with, what makes us happy, and that all those things happen along the journey not necessarily at set destination points.

    I also try to be kind to myself and to grant myself the same grace I grant others, that it’s okay and more fun if I’m not trying so damn hard to be perfect and to have it all together.

  6. Woohoo!! I love your run as a metaphor for letting go and being a little less “in control.” We’re all in this together!!! ❤

  7. great post. and hey — i’m 32 and still taking life as it comes, trying whatever i want to try, and considering each risk as just another thing i’m adding to my story. you’ll never run out of things to try, if you keep moving forward and enjoying the journey. 🙂

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