What I’m Told I Must Do:

by Rachelle

1) Graduate from college 
2) Travel
3) Fall in love
4) Get married 
5) Have a baby 
 
The route I have taken:

1) Travel  
2) Fall in love
3) Have a baby
4) Graduate from college
5) Get married

There is no one right way to live our lives. We figure things out along the way. And if I wouldn’t have traveled while going to college, I would’ve never met the most perfect person (for me) to spend my life with. We would’ve missed each other. 

Him from Kenya, me from the U.S, met in Taiwan at a 7 week english summer camp. I’ve never been more happy in the presence of another person, and I have a lot of factors to thank for our meeting. One of which, the most powerful one, is my own choices, my own free will in life that I can exercise at any given moment.

Previously trapped in a horrible relationship, I have the freedom to remove myself. Needing healing and insight that cross-cultural experiences can give me, I have the freedom to stand up and walk into a plane headed for Taiwan.

What I received in return: the love of hundreds of students, the love of new friends, the love of the person I’m going to marry, and the love of a culture I had no previous awareness of. All of this I lacked before I left. All of it I gained in 7 weeks.

Society may instill in us from an early age a blueprint for living our adult lives. But the blueprint I’ve followed is a different one. An outsider might look at my 5 steps and think that I made poor choices. And yet the choices I’ve made have given me so much happiness and gratitude for living. What is a wrong choice? I think a wrong choice is one you make to please other people, instead of assessing your own needs and acting accordingly. We know what truly makes us happy- we are the only ones who know this secret.

How can I condemn my choices if I am self- directing my life?  If I love myself, if I love my nature, I will expertly guide it to the fuel it needs for contentment, to the people/ places/ ideaa it needs to be exposed to. Sometimes this is accomplished by picking up a book. And sometimes it’s accomplished by picking up my entire life- transporting it to a new all-compassing bubble of direct, stimulating, foreign ways of thinking. 

Whatever I do to improve myself, when the work is finished, contentment is found here. . . in a mind full of gratitude and self-love.

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