It’s so funny how life takes us by the hand, down paths we never expected to travel. I’ve been a goal setter from an early age, managing my life to self-imposed milestones. If you asked me at 20 years old what I’d be doing right now, it would have included some major sports channel with a job hosting, preferably football and preferably in the south, but I wouldn’t be too picky. And I would have been fundamentally unwavering that I would be doing nothing but that. That was my dream, and I lived and breathed the idea of ending up on SportCenter by the time I was in my 30s, relentless in making that happen. I had my goals and I was sticking to them. I thought that’s what you were supposed to do.
Fast forward a short five years. I never thought I’d be living in San Francisco. Or working in anything but sports. I’m not surprised I have a blog but completely dumbfounded about how into Tech I am (my coding classes started this week!). I never would have considered that I’d be spending my days traveling around the world both for work and for pleasure. Never planned on having published a book already. I definitely wouldn’t have predicted the events of my love life. Living abroad was nowhere in my plans. Neither was the desire to run a full marathon, which I completed a couple years ago.
Basically, I never in a million years would have envisioned my life as it is today. My life now isn’t anything I had described in my goal-setting worksheets from 2008, but it is every bit as beautiful as I imagined. I’m forever grateful for the moment in time when I was trucking along and hit with “I don’t really want to do this ” (meaning on-air talent). I was at first confused, because I had always wanted to do that. It was hard to see anything outside of it or outside of my goals. But the further inward I looked, the more clear it became that life had other plans in the short term for me. Life was pulling me somewhere else, and I didn’t know much, but I knew I had to follow it.
If I’ve learned one thing in the past few years it’s this: when opportunities show up for you, and your gut is yelling yes. Go for it. Even if it doesn’t fit into your 1-3-5-10 year goals, follow the question marks. The more we can accept the adventures in life, the ones that really vibrate with the cadence of our soul, the closer we’ll get to our big potential. It’s scary when things feel right but aren’t a part of our “life plan”. It’s part of the risk, part of the beauty, and part of the fun.
If we listen closely enough, I know that our heart directs us, Google Maps style. There is guidance with step-by-step directions and a lovely voice that tells you when and how to turn. And how to reccaliberate when you’ve made a mistake. The trick is tuning into it. Getting yourself to such a clear space and trusting place that you can fully hear the Google Map of your soul.
Live a life so big and so bold, that you genuinely never thought you’d be here.
Learning to adapt my goals was just one of the many lessons learned in my 20’s. I wrote about a few other ones today on The College Prepster.