We define ourselves not by the magnitude of the things we’ve done but by single handpicked moments. Moments that mean the world to us, like the first kiss, the first time driving car, the first time ditching a class… Or maybe the first day on a new job, the day you got your degree, or the first night in your own apartment. There’s a sea of moments to pick from and somehow, we choose specific moments to define who we are and how we want others to see us. The problem with cherry picking these moments is that we tend to forget how we actually got to where we are now. We just remember mile stones, but not the pebble stones leading up to the mile stones. After all, who wants to remember the pebble in the shoe while hiking up a mountain?
These days I find myself staring out the window (for once enjoying the sun shining on my face – winter in Oslo this year has been brutal!) and wondering “who would have thought that we’d ever end up here?” or “if you would have told me ten years ago… I would have never believed you”. The truth is, that I wouldn’t have believed it, because when I look at the mile stones, none of them indicated that I would ever go the path I ultimately chose to go. Of course, that is my view of my mile stones, A would tell you that he always knew that I was going to do great things, because that is his view of my mile stones.
My point is that I took my sweet time figuring out what I wanted to do, backtracking more than once, wondering whether I really wanted to continue, or maybe just go home, wherever that was… Sometimes I had to make really difficult decisions, the ones that haunt you at night, wondering whether you are making the right call or not. Know this, when it comes to difficult decisions there is rarely a right or wrong, there is just a different outcome. And no matter how hard, you will have to make your own decisions. In the end, you have to choose your own path, maybe realizing your vision of who you are and who you want to be and who you want others to see when they look at you.
In between there will be a million multi-colored, sharp-edged and altogether super annoying pebbles. These pebbles will make you stop for a second, wiggle your toes in your shoes, maybe feeling discomfort, but once you get yourself situated, maybe take a little breather, you get to look up again and continue your path, or maybe go a different path or maybe just stand still for a while.
I’ve had my fair share of pebbles (and what sometimes feels like boulders) in my shoes but I skipped from mile stone to mile stone with a smile on my face and a happiness in my heart. Life wouldn’t be enjoyable if we were all walking around like on clouds, so embrace the pebbles, embrace the climb, and never forget that you are in charge of your life. You decide who you are, you get to choose your life-defining moments and the moments can be plentiful and rich and wonderful and amazing because you are a million things more than a pebble in a shoe…