“Often what may appear as a detour in life is actually the most direct and empowering path to your destination.”
Last year I wrote a blog “When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned”. Little did I know a year later I would be pulling up that blog to read it because once again, I had planned some things for my life that decided to not work out the way I expected, and I think many people this past year can probably relate.
The list I made previously was when I was graduating High School, things to accomplish before 30. Some of them got checked off, while others…not so much.
But here I was, post divorce, making another list of things and putting a BY X DATE on them, that being 42 this time (if you recall from previous blogs, I’m a bit impatient). Here are a few:
1. Have a job that I love
- Travel a lot and try new things
- Have a partner in my life that I adore and respect and adores and respects me
How’d I do…
- Have a job that I love (although being an entrepreneur is hard as shit, I still love it!)
- Travel A LOT and trying new things like a bad ass! (I have traveled so much these past three years to new places and have tried so many new things –like surfing— and I will continue to do so.)
X Have a partner in my life that I adore and respect and adores and respects me (I know that X will change to a check mark again one day, for now I get to adore and love on myself! I’m VERY aware I don’t NEED a partner and not everyone desires that, however, we as humans typically seek companionship…and for me, I do hope for that again one day. For now I’m kinda digging this loving on me thing!)
Two outta three ain’t bad. (Damn you Meatloaf, now that song is in my head!)
I’ve realized that if life forces you to veer left or take a
detour, you are probably doing it right
No matter what we “think” our life will look like at any certain point, we need to be prepared for the fact that sometimes life WILL veer left or right when we are trying sooooo hard to keep the steering the wheel straight.
I have wasted too much time whining, complaining and crying about the way things “should” have gone in my life. How this was not how things were supposed to go. But the truth is, yes it was. Because this is where I’m at right now.
Your life didn’t turn out how you planned? So it’s time to write a new ending. Better yet, start with writing the next chapter because none of us know how our stories are going to end.
It is ok to be upset that things didn’t go as we intended. It’s ok to get angry, be ashamed, disappointed, cry and to feel all the mixed emotions. Then, it’s time to move forward.
It is hard work adjusting, reframing, and reorganizing your life after you had it “figured out”. Rather than looking at restructuring as a huge chore, try viewing it as an exciting adventure into the unknown. An opportunity to redefine things in your life.
How to start embracing your unexpected DETOUR …
- Accept where you are: You can try to find a way to get back to the road you were on, but was that path TRULY making you happy? Maybe, but maybe not. Maybe life forced the change to shake things up and get your mind thinking about what was good in your life that you should work on hanging on to, and what needs adjusted. I’m not suggesting that there aren’t things that you should “fight” for in life, but don’t put too much energy into trying to get back to a road that was taking you to the wrong destination.
- Be open to new things: Maybe you are struggling with your job and aren’t sure if you are where you need to be, now is the perfect time to revisit that business idea you had years ago or check out LinkedIn to see what’s out there. Keep an open mind and be willing to shake things up a bit.
- Be kind to YOU: Don’t be so hard on yourself. Even if you are accepting responsibility for the course change in your life that you are on, stop beating yourself up. Forgive yourself if you have done wrong by someone [even ask for forgiveness if that is a part of your healing journey]. Beating yourself up daily because things aren’t going as you planned only hurts you in the long run. Being kind during this journey includes being kind to yourself.
- Learn to trust: Trust is a hard one for many people after they have been hurt by someone or been disappointed that something in their life did not turn out as planned. Trusting yourself is the first step in being able to trust others. Trust that whatever choices you are making right now are a part of your process. You might make some choices that others wouldn’t agree with, but trust that right now the choices you are making are part of your journey and will keep propelling you forward in a positive direction.
- Ask yourself what you learned: I accept responsibility for everything that has happened in my life, whether it was outwardly within my control or not. I cannot change anything that has happened in my past, but I can learn from it. Life presents us with challenges from time to time and you don’t always get to “choose” what happens. You do get to choose how you react. You can be bitter, or you can be better.
Life doesn’t always go as we plan it,
but life happens the way it’s supposed to.
Having plans and a direction for your life is great, but I encourage you to be flexible and adaptable, as things WILL happen that are out of your control. I urge you to go ahead and start writing that next chapter…or for those of you that haven’t opened the book yet, it’s a perfect time to start that first chapter.
You can’t predict the way your life will unfold. Nothing can really prepare you for what you’ll actually experience if the rug is pulled from under you or if you are the one to pull it out from under someone else.
What you can do is work on learning to accept and adjust to those damn “re-routing”,“re-routing” warnings life throws at you. Maybe life’s detour will end up being the best road trip of your life.
Remember, You Got This!
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