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The in between.

There are no wrong paths. It’s something that is commonly stressed about, so let me say it again, and this time internalize it instead of dismissing it as a cliché. There are no wrong paths.

I have been obsessed with wringing out all the life I possibly can in my short adventure on earth, and am laser focused on being all I can be. That’s turning out to be quiet the paradox.

I remember rock climbing when I was younger. At one point I felt stuck, and the instructor directed me to take a step out. I said something to the likes of “I don’t feel like I’d be stable enough to do that”. He said, “you have to be willing to put yourself into uncomfortable positions to get any higher”. Boom. Rock climbing teacher turned life guru.

Since then, I’ve been fixated on this idea of never letting myself get comfortable. I would challenge myself to do something to get me out of my comfort zone at least once a month. Any time I felt like I was settling into anything, I’d jump ship and hop onto something else. This proved to work as a catalyst for self-growth and discovery, but as with anything, you can have too much of a good thing.

This determination has recently turned into a vice. I unknowingly morphed that sentiment into something that is stripping me of joy completely.

Here are my truths. Yes, being uncomfortable is usually a good thing – it’s just the feeling of that box in our mind having a good stretch, and stretching hurts until it doesn’t anymore. But this is also true. You do not have to be unhappy where you are now to get to where you’re going next. You are going to bigger and better places anyway, that’s how life works. You are not, however, going to enjoy getting there if you think you need to place enough pressure on yourself in every destination along the way to be shot forward.

I have been dreaming of going to a big city and giving singing a shot for as long as I can remember. I have applied to schools, hummed and hawed, rejected offers, and for some reason, despite my internal fire, I haven’t gotten there. I went through a phase early this year of hating where I was, albeit how fortunate I am with my job – I do what I love with incredible people and feel like I’m making a real difference. The problem was, I also felt like I was shuffling the very core of me off to the side, and ignoring my own aspirations. I grew distain for my day-to-day life. That pity party lasted a couple unhappy weeks, until I was (literally) woken up with these thoughts:

Will hating my life get me to LA? No. Will it make me a miserable cow? Yes. Will it spoil this chapter of my life? Yes. Does my pit of despair propel me in any positive direction? No. If it’s meant to happen, won’t it happen any way? Yes. All I’m doing is staining the soon to be memory of my beautifully messy formative years.

What I’m saying is, it’s okay to push yourself. In fact, it’s good. Challenge yourself, start stories when you don’t know the ending, make big moves on a hunch, and stretch out to that rock when your only real stability is the hope of getting higher.

But know this.

Appreciate the push or there’s no point. There’s bravery in the leaping, and patience in the waiting, but maturity is revelling in the in between. Be grateful for getting to that sturdy rock first, the one that enabled you to make that stretch. Be grateful for the job that is draining your passion but filling your bank account, because you may not be where you want to be right now, but it’s preparing you every day to get you to where you’re going to end up.

And I’ll promise you one thing, you’re going to end up there regardless of how you handle the in between. So take a breath and smile, dammit.

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