I was visiting my friend L yesterday and finally (because I’m such a slacker) met her new baby (who is adorable beyond words). I kept looking at this perfect little person and thinking about the amazing world of possibilities that are ahead of her. She can be anything, do anything and pursue any avenue she wants.
And then I thought—when do we stop thinking that way about ourselves? At what point do we begin to feel locked in to a path or limited by possibilities, instead of see the world as a place of options? Is it when we choose a major in college? Is it in high school when we start seeing certain aptitudes? I know for some people, it’s probably earlier. If they are particularly gifted dancers, gymnasts or athletes, they are often pursuing these interests in their early teens.
The point is, at some stage in our lives, we often start to see even our aptitudes as restrictions. We may have careers that we love, and still wish that we could have other things, other opportunities in our lives. But for some reason, we don’t pursue them. Maybe it is time, maybe it is money, maybe it is the exhaustion at the end of the day—but we start feeling locked into a life rather than choosing one.
Over the last 15 months, I’ve tried to break the cycles of “I can’t” and “I shouldn’t.” I haven’t been entirely successful, but there have been moments. I was just reminded yesterday that the possibilities and opportunities are still out there—I just need to find them.