Outsiders may look at my life and ask, how or why I would choose the life I have. A life lesson I learned a long time ago is that I can’t plan for an unknown future. Most of the best things that have happened to me were actually not in my plan at all. I couldn’t have even seen a future that looks like my life right now. I definitely couldn’t have imagined loving the life I have chosen for myself now. I don’t live the traditional life that society might expect me to live. I live the life that I’ve been led to live.
I went through years feeling like I’m not where I’m supposed to be. I had all these expectations of myself to have a different life. When I was a kid, I wanted a different family. I held the image of the perfect television family from the 70s-80s. My life was far from that. My family life was messy. A little too much freedom led down a very dangerous path for a girl with incredibly low self-esteem. An extrovert with low self-esteem can be a brutal combination. My lifestyle was risky and unhealthy to say the least.
I planned to go to college right after high school. I got into my first and only pick. I was one of 100 students picked for a special program, and then comes the financial aid problems and BOOM, no more college. At the time, I thought of this as proof that my life sucked. Little did I know at the time not being in college would lead me on some amazing adventures. After, a few retail jobs and a lot of moving I found a job in customer service. I couldn’t have planned to become a national sales trainer from having to make a minimum of 75 cold calls a day, plus checking on existing clients. The positions I got from that point on didn’t exist in the companies I went to until I got there. I CHOSE to see outside the box and find a niche in the market that needed to be filled. I just kept coming up with ideas and bigger companies kept coming to me. By 25, I had been to all but 8 states in the US. My choice to make the most out of a simple position as a phone customer service representative turned into an amazing career. My experience in retail helped me to understand the importance of retail, service, teamwork, and incentive. My life would have looked much different if I went to college right after high school.
After that amazing experience I felt like I was ready to plan the traditional future. I was going to settle down, have two kids, and be a stay at home mom. Still wanting the dream of the TV family, but didn’t have the self-esteem to know a healthy partner. Let’s face it, if I was a healthy person I would have attracted a healthy person. I attracted a person that fed my low self-esteem and kept me in the sick place that I was comfortable being in. This didn’t lead to a healthy family life. I ended up volunteering so much at my son’s pre-school that they saw my potential to work there. Again, not in the plan, but my choice to join the team led to some of the most miraculous developments in my adult life.
The women at the pre-school were AMAZING! They helped me to find my confidence as a person, woman, student, and teacher. As my confidence level grew, I started to feel better and make better choices for my children and myself. I started reaching out for help, finding faith, and growing as a woman. Choosing to embrace a path that was a little bit scary, helped me to open up in ways I didn’t know possible.
During that period, I chose to watch, listen, and pray for signs. A simple choice to go outside and meet a mother and daughter who were on the street led me to one of my closest friends now; a decade later. A simple prayer to be led in a direction that would help me feel better led me to look on-line and connect the signs that led me to AL-ANON. The choice to go there and get close to particular people guided me to a specific church where the Pastor was giving me the exact guidance I needed to learn the actions to take to feel better and make healthier choices. I chose books to read that fed the fire inside me and helped me to see exactly how unhealthy my current relationship was and how it wasn’t in the best interest for the children and I to stay. I chose to leave.
When I left I had some decisions to make since I wanted the best life possible for the kids and myself. I wanted them to see what a healthy relationship looked like. At the time, I didn’t know if I was capable of ever having one, so I looked to my mom and stepdad. We moved in with them. Since I chose to live with them, I could make the choice to go back to school without having to worry about the care of my kids. I made the most out of my time at school and the hours I could spend volunteering in the kids’ school. I’m so grateful I made the choices I did.
Every time I try to plan for the unknown future, I laugh at myself. Now, I simply focus on living the best life I can. I get ideas and I see what doors open and which ones don’t then choose my next step accordingly. When I live there, I’m happy and free. I stop trying to put myself to standards for life, that aren’t my own. I don’t live like the average person, and that is ok. I get to make the opportunities and choices I choose. I can also choose to sit and wallow in self-pity and blame the world for my plans not working out. That doesn’t sound fun to me anymore. I will keep making choices to bring the most out of any given situation and trust that I will be led to the next right thing for ME. This is my life, the way I choose to live it.
- I choose my attitude.
- I choose to see life’s hardships as lessons to learn from.
- I believe in everyone’s right to choose his or her own paths.
- I choose to make the most or the least out of every moment.
- I choose to interpret life, faith, politics, arts, people, and nature however best suits the life I enjoy living.
- I choose to trust or not to trust any person or situation.
- I believe that my choices all have benefits and consequences, and that it’s my job to determine whether to halt or proceed on my current path at any given moment.
- I choose to enjoy the life I have instead of the one I think society wants me to have.
- I choose to enjoy being me.
- I choose to fully embrace being a mom.
- I choose to communicate to the best of my ability whether people like it or not.
- I choose to put self-care high on my priority list.
- I choose to live as full a life as I possibly can.
- I choose to see God as love and anything that goes against God being all loving doesn’t sit right with me.
- I choose not to judge others on their beliefs in spirituality or religion but on how they treat humans, nature, and animals.
- I choose to keep my mind open and flexible in order to learn as much as I can and live and experience life in the most loving way possible.
With love and gratitude,
Rachael Wolff ©2017