You should always take the detour.
I think we have this idea that most things in our lives will follow a straight trajectory, one of steady improvement and continual growth which assuredly shifts us from Point A to Point B. While I understand the appeal of such simplicity, this isn’t how my life unfolds. lol, far from it. 😂
But I can’t say I didn’t try to be ‘normal’. I did my best to follow that socially-endorsed, linear trajectory – I studied hard, earned a sensible degree, and worked in a high-paying corporate job for many years. And yes, while there were great things which came from those experiences, I think I always knew they wouldn’t form the basis of my one and only path.
As terrifying, destabilising and challenging as it was/is to shift out of that other life, I can’t imagine how things would be if I hadn’t stepped out into the unknown. I think I might have lost myself completely, and that’s a way scarier reality. The thing that I’ve come to know, from direct experience, is that the universe ALWAYS has your back. You might make bad decisions, take a wrong turn, and need to compromise and sacrifice in ways you never imagined, BUT (and that’s a very deliberate big but) … you’ll always be fine. You will always land on your feet, even though there will be times where you think you won’t. You’ve probably just forgotten to trust yourself.
When something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. If an opportunity presents itself and you feel called to respond, regardless of how scary / ridiculous it might be, you should listen. Far better to back yourself and take a chance on something which may be the best / most fun / most rewarding thing you’ve ever done. Even if it turns out that you need to pivot, switch things up, and find another new approach. Nothing is permanent, you can just change and change again.
I used to let fear rule my path – shying away from decisions and experiences which I was drawn to, and yet didn’t follow through on because I was too scared to fail. If you’re anything like me, your mind will LOVE playing the ‘what if’ game … what if this happens? what if you don’t like that new job? what if it’s the wrong choice? … This is a game you’ll never win. Those ‘what ifs’ will keep feeding off each other – distracting you and clouding your vision (if you let them).
How do you find direction amongst all that noise? Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Look deep inside. What is it that you really want? You probably already know the answer, you just need to free up some of that fear-crowded space to let your truth be heard. Lean into the fear with confidence, knowing that there are no missteps to be made, just new horizons waiting for you to explore. It is always worth stepping off that straight line trajectory and seeing what lies beyond.
The satisfaction that comes from taking action to pursue your own path is ALWAYS better than the passive wistfulness of what might have been. Life is way too short to take up any more of your time with second guesses.
Always take the detour. 💖