Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Live Your Life

Lately, many of my conversations have centered on my decision to accept a temporary position with Semester At Sea. While most have expressed nothing but excitement, a few have focused on the risk involved with packing up my life, throwing caution to the wind, and walking away from normalcy for four months. A few have heard the news and immediately directed their attention on the uncertainty. Some saw the unknown as something to be feared. I noticed the contrast between how they perceived my situation and how I perceived it, yet I didn’t feel the need to persuade them. It isn’t my responsibility to defend my life; it’s my responsibility to fully live my life.

Everyone will not understand all of your choices. There will be times when you have to exercise faith in your abilities and make decisions based on your judgment. You may make choices that do not line up with the expectations of parents, family members, and friends. Sometimes you’ll even make choices that extend beyond the expectations you had for yourself. Expectations are helpful when they hold us accountable and prevent us from settling, but they are detrimental when they limit our perception and obstruct our view of a larger future. You are not required to defend your life. You are required to fully live it. Those who looked at my future and saw a road to risk and uncertainty were viewing my life through their lenses of fear, intimidation, and confinement. I don’t have to accept or play hostess to the fears and doubts of others and neither do you. Live your life well. That is the best and only defense you need to provide.

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