Journey to Authenticity – Pt. 3

A converging of paths.

Have you ever gone to the grocery store and gotten one of those carts that likes to veer to the right or left when you push it?  Man, they are annoying.  For a while there, I thought I was a dang magnet for those stupid things.  I’d spend most of my weekly trip to Target feeling like everybody was noticing how wonkily I was walking while trying to simply steer the cart (or “buggy” if yer from dayown heer, y’all).

If it is a particularly bad one, you gotta basically do calisthenics to get the thing to go where you want it to go, and turning it in the direction opposite of which it tends to veer can be a royal pain in the rear.

And this is when the cart is empty.

(If you ever wanna see all my faults on display, join me on a shopping trip and hope I happen to grab one of these tools of Satan.)

Do you ever feel like you are one of these defected shopping carts?  I mean, dang.

Y’all, I’m happy with the direction my life is heading in –I want you to hear that — but for a long time now I’ve felt like I tend to veer…

Sometimes I wish there was another decade between our 20s and 30s.  I’ve felt like my 20s were such a growing, changing season that I probably missed out on a lot of life that, looking back, I want to experience more fully.  And I could do that if I had 10 more years.  It would be nice to have the wisdom that I have now and re-experience a lot of what the past 10 years brought me.  I wonder if the energy, thought, emotion, and time I put into things would be different now.  I don’t regret the path I chose, but I long for more fulfillment from the path I didn’t.

We all make decisions in our lives that will completely change its trajectory.  I’m realizing that one of my biggest fears is regret, and so a lot of my decision-making flows through that filter.  So far I’ve done pretty good, though there are MANY times that I wonder “What would’ve happened if I chose the other option?”  Life changes are usually hard for a reason: every option is good.  In some way or another, the choice between two directions is the choice between what you love more instead of what is right and wrong.  You know what I’m saying, right?

Dang, that’s frustrating.  Then you spend the years following a major decision wondering what stages you would’ve performed on, what countries you would’ve traveled to, what college would you have gone to, what friends you would’ve made, what places you would’ve lived in, what things you would’ve created, what opportunities would’ve presented themselves…  ONE DECISION has the power to make your life look VASTLY different from what would’ve been.  It’s amazing and frustrating.  Dang frustrating.

And it’s frustrating because I still want to experience it.  Maybe I don’t want to live the life I would’ve had, but I need to find ways to be connected to the parts of myself that wanted to.  I’m happy where I am, but I want to tip my hat to where I could’ve been, and that is a big part of what I hope my near future holds for me.

I have a mental, tentative 10 year plan to incorporate old things back into my life – the things that I’ve let collect dust over the past 5-10 years.  And here it is:

In the next 1 year: Get back in dance class (while I still have my youth, teehee).  Just once a week, by January 2016.

In the next 5 years: Hopefully teach dance, either regularly or as a sub, and have some opportunities to choreograph.  Also, to have spent time (by the time 5 years have passed) playing viola more, and getting better at piano or guitar, or both.

In the next 10 years: All of the above, plus learning a new instrument and potentially joining a choir.  Also, maybe venturing back into the land of ceramics.

With a small business and two kids, that’s a tall order.  Goals aren’t always reached, but at least in the process I’ll reacquaint myself with SOME of the above.  Everybody has things they wish they had time for; things that nurture the passionate, artistic, dedicated, focused parts of themselves.  Without them, we are without a huge chunk of what makes us ourselves – what makes us authentic.

So, I’m ready.  Even though I am pushing this cart that doesn’t want to just go straight (my life), it is full of things that help bring fulfillment (thought most certainly not the only source of it), and I’m ready.  I’m going to start pushing it where it wants to go when appropriate, and even if I have to struggle with it, I’ll keep it on course when necessary.

And you should do it, too.  You probably owe it to yourself.  You’ve endured a lot and faced huge life decisions that meant sacrificing – or better, still – putting something else of value on hold.  It might be time to revisit those things; to feel like yourself, and experience the authenticity that comes from nodding to the potential direction in which your life might’ve gone.

I’m excited!  Are you?









4 thoughts on “Journey to Authenticity – Pt. 3

  1. VERY GOOD! Can I say as a almost 55 year old woman to NOT LET GO OF YOUR PASSION! Go for it Terence! I may not look EXACTLY like what you had in mind but God allows it in some form or fashion and it is fulfilling! I LOVE the idea of you dancing/teaching dance! Also, I know I sound like an old timer here BUT please, take care of yourself physically so that your mind will be sharp and you’ll stay interesting and relevant and an amazing instrument used for God’s glory (containing all that is good!). Love your blogs!
    Tina Coggins, Savannah, GA


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