When do you know that you're making the right decision? It's not like the heavens open up and some ethereal voice confirms that you are in deed making the right decision. So how do you know? In a way.............you don't.
I think the real test is to be able to look back at a decision you made...........and even if you could change it, you wouldn't. Not that I think I've done everything "perfectly" in my life so far (I certainly haven't), but as far as most big things go I really can't see myself having made different choices. I think this quote sums it up pretty well:
My choice in college
Sure I could've gone elsewhere and spent less money..................but the music instructors I worked closely with were amazing. They helped me find the things that truly speak to me as a person and a musician. Obviously there are incredible instructors elsewhere, but it seemed as though these particular people were tailored to me. We just fit.
I met my best friends during college. And to this day they still are. Some of us don't see each other as often as others, but I love them all dearly. They are some of the most amazing people I know and they have helped me through some incredibly tough times. And as my best friend and I have found out, our relationship transcends distance. We always pick up right where we left off -- every time -- even if that means a 6 hour phone call that goes until 5am.
Moving to Tennessee
Did I leave promptly after I finished my MBA? You bet your sweet patootie I did. But regardless of Nashville not being the right fit for me, I wouldn't change my decision to go there. The plan was never to move there permanently anyway. The sole purpose was always the MBA at that particular school, and then we'd see if we liked it and what opportunities arose. It just so happens that we didn't like it and there really wasn't anything to keep us there. So we moved back. But I met some awesome people throughout my MBA program.............I had new experiences in an unfamiliar place............and most importantly, I got to go to freakin' South Africa!!!!!
Okay, well actually the MOST important thing was that Will and I learned how to be each other's support system. It was definitely hard to be away from friends and family, but we figured out that if we have each other we can do anything. He's my person. That experience made us even stronger than we already were, and it turns out that we're pretty awesome together...........
Obviously there have been many other life decisions beyond those two, but those are the ones that always stick out to me. I think it's because they both are centered on bettering myself, new experiences, and connecting with people.
The moral of the story
It's so important to get outside of your bubble and live life, but in order to do that you have to GO do it. That can mean different things for different people. Some people will never move out of their hometown, and that's fine! If that's where your heart is and that's where your experiences are.....great! Some people will do the exact opposite -- live like nomads and never set down roots, because there's just too much to see and do. That's also awesome!
Whatever your definition of living life to the fullest is...............go do that, because life is too short not to. Our lives shouldn't be defined solely by our careers and our possessions -- that's an incredibly .limited view on what a "successful life" actually is. But it really depends on how you define success and how you let others define your success for you. Success can be finding real love in this crazy world full of distractions. Success can be living comfortably enough to afford your passions/hobbies. Success can be having a family. Success can be finding wonderful friends. Success can be SO many different things..............but no one should be allowed to define your success for you. So don't let them.
I'm getting to the point in my life where I'm realizing I'll never be able to please everyone. Normally that would drive me crazy, but I feel like I'm starting to let go of it.......slowly, but surely. So my life decisions are probably not the decisions you would have made -- we're different, we think differently, and we have different priorities in life. Of course we wouldn't make the same decisions! And that's okay. My definition of success may be drastically different than yours, but that doesn't matter. As long as you're happy, it really doesn't matter. So go be happy. I know I'm going to.
I'm an "adult," or so I've been told. I do "adult" things, I have an "adult" job, I pay bills, and I drink bourbon and wine. I have great friends and family, an amazing husband, and generally a pretty good life. I have achieved many things, yet so little at the same time. I'm 30, yet I feel more clueless than when I graduated college. This is how I "adult."