If there is one thing that is practically guaranteed in a lifetime, it is difficult decisions. There are some aspects of human life that just aren’t going to be easy, no matter who you are or how lucky.
At times, a choice you face can feel like none of the options ahead of you look anything like what you really want. When you have a limited number of paths ahead of you and none of them seem to go in the direction you want them to. When you’re picturing the future you wanted for yourself but can’t figure out a way of getting there.
Those can be the worst times that life can dump on you: when you realise that what you want is impossible. When you see that, even the decision that would work out best for you, is still so far from anything dreamed, or imagined, or expected.
There are times when you have to stop, take stock and are forced to realise that the path you’re on is not taking you where you wanted it to. You have to acknowledge it and you have to accept it, and then you have to make the decision to give up on everything that has got you this far so you can start over and go back the right way.
Maybe you went down a wrong career path, or got tangled up with the wrong sort of people. Maybe you’re stuck in a relationship that you’re unhappy with.
Knowing this is not easy. Just because you understand that you’ll be happier in the long run doesn’t make it an easy to decision to make.
It’s one that coerces you into completely re-evaluating your life. You have to let go of what you’ve spent so long doing, you have to let go of everything you were heading for.
Particularly if you’ve spent a long time heading in one direction, committing yourself to a decision that you’re only now realising was a mistake, this can feel like your whole world is being torn apart.
Sometimes, you don’t even realise the extent of the changes you’ll have to make until you’re right there facing them. You learn then that a lot of the things that you have to lose really are things that you’ll miss. Just because you’ve strayed off track a little doesn’t mean you’ve hated every second of your diversion. Saying goodbye to some of those things now, in favour of reaching for your true calling later, can be truly heart breaking.
It can feel like it’ll just be easier to accept that you’re going somewhere else, so that you can keep these little joys. To decide to put up with dissatisfaction you’re starting to notice, so that you don’t have to risk being hurt by the changes you need to make. Even if it’ll cause trouble later on, it can be tempting to just finish what you’ve already started.
Sometimes, it can be really difficult to let go of things, even when they’re hurting you. That doesn’t mean you should hold onto them, but that it’ll be so much more of a relief that pain is gone for good.
Author Bio – Kirstie Summers is journalist whose day job takes her to all the most interesting places and events in South London. She also freelances for a number of sites and publications, from gaming and literature reviews to creative fiction. She lives in London and spends as much of her free time as possible making the most of being in such a diverse city. She keeps one day a week to herself to swim, relax and keep the stress of the world at bay.