Years ago, at a party, I was in conversation with a friend about what keeps us going. I turned to this woman and said, I just do what makes me happy, and when it doesn't make me happy anymore, I change what I'm doing.
The woman I was speaking with, who had more life experience than I, laughed and told me I had a lot to learn. And I've never forgotten that conversation.
At the time, I felt stupid and naive. I shrunk away from the conversation and also from my own ideals. I stood by my beliefs, that it could be that simple, but also began to question them equally.
Often, now, I am reminded of the naiveté of my 20 year old self. Whether speaking to someone with less life experience and treating their views with gentle care, or being faced to challenge or believe in my own simplistic but freeing views again.
I've never forgotten the look on that woman's face, balking at my certainty.
Over the last 17 years, in moments of insecurity of where I stand, her laughter reminds me still that I have a lot to learn. At times of struggle, those moments when I would like to simply choose happy, to just walk away, to live in that simplicity of choice. In those moments, I am reminded of the shame. And then, with a touch of surrender, I am reminded of that 20 year old wisdom.
Life is about transition and movement. When we are not growing and making changes, we get stuck and stiff, uncomfortable. Changing my mind again and again about what serves and what fills me, I have consistently revisited that choice. A party girl in my teens, a food obsessed vegan in my twenties, and now a matured version of the two, as a mother who provides playfulness and stability, and still the drum keeps beating.
Transition challenges us, it is easier for some than others. I happen to thrive from being on the move, you may know the opposite about yourself. Committing to a life with my man, raising our children, moving again (and again and again), growing a business, buying a house--these were all big transitions, and daily, there are the small shifts. The gluten free bagel I finally tried that is delicious and doesn't upset my stomach, where in my house I keep plants or hang pictures, softening the shifts in the day for my son who unlike myself finds transition more challenging. These are all places for me to create shifts, movement, all places to choose happy.
You may find yourself on the precipice--you are stepping off the platform into something big, or maybe it is the smaller shifts you are desiring. And you can confidently start by saying:
I do what makes me feel full, and when it doesn't fill me anymore, I make a change.