And Why Not?

Over the weekend, I had a funny conversation with a friend that I don’t get to see very often.  We’re both in what I’ll call “transitional phases” in our lives (although really, it’s all one big transitional phase, isn’t it?).  I was describing to her some of the changes that I’ve made in my life, changes that make it better, happier, and more fulfilling.  And realized, as I was talking, that I was having something of an epiphany along these lines….

Somehow, we forget.  We forget all the time that we have the power to change the things that we don’t like about our lives.  I’m not sure why we don’t know it all of the time.  Why sometimes we feel trapped in our patterns, and like we have no choice.  But that’s just not true.  We have the authority to define our lives however we’d like.

The idea that we each have the power over our own destiny isn’t really that novel.  Everybody I know gives lip service to that concept.  But the realization that we truly forget that we have it, until we are smacked upside the head, feels like it might be. 

The specific example that I used was how I’ve reevaluated my eating habits.  It’s a place where many people get stuck in an unhealthy rut.  But ultimately, I am the one that decides what/when/how I eat.  And, having made a conscious decision to change….I really have changed.  If you look at how I ate a year and a half ago, compared to how I eat now, you’d be shocked by the difference.  (I am just shocked by how poorly I was eating before….and that somehow, I thought it was okay.)  Does it mean that I always eat healthy food?  Not even a little bit.  But does mean that I consistently make better choices than I did.  And, at this point, I’m both thinner and healthier, and I enjoy food more than I did. 

So the take home message (that I will surely forget in short order) is that I can be whatever I want.  I can be somebody that has a balanced diet.  I can be somebody with a satisfying career.  I can (just like the Airborne Rangers) lead a life of sex and danger….or I can just learn to belly dance and take a road trip across the country and develop new cocktails.  And you can, too.

I was ready Mur Lafferty’s blog this week, and came across this passage, written for her daughter:

You show them by being more than your looks, even if that’s all people comment on. You show them by your independence. You show them by being more than they expect to see. You show them by not taking their shit.

And I realized, maybe I haven’t forgotten as much as I thought I had….Scientist by day. Artist by night.  Badass 24/7.  Indeed.

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