A Train Wreck of Choice & Circumstance

That’s all life is; a train wreck of choices and circumstance.

Every day we’ve had to make choices based on the circumstances of our life at that moment in time. It’s been that way ever since we were no longer shitting in our diapers. Sometimes we felt in control of those choices and other times it seemed like we didn’t have any other alternative.

Each of these decisions has led to exactly this moment. Whether your life is perfect or totally miserable, it’s this way because you chose for it to be this way.

If your life is good, you’ll agree with me. You know that everything you have today is because you worked hard to get it. You know there were times when you wanted to quit and it felt like the struggle wasn’t worth it. But you persisted and here you are. Everything might not be exactly as you’d liked it to be. But you’re okay with that because you know you’ve done your best and this is what you’ve got … what you’ve earned.

And if your life is shit, you’re going to argue and outline all the reasons I’m wrong. Or explain why you’re the exception. You’ll call me names and say I don’t know what I’m talking about. You’ll say I need to try living in the “Real World,” as so many people just like you seem to enjoy labeling their lives … as though there’s some alternate dimension I’ve been occupying all these years.

I know bad things happens. I’ve been through a lot in my life.

I was raised in a broken home by an alcoholic mother and a multitude of abusive men who came and went like the weather. My father committed suicide when I was in the third grade after I admitted to my mom that he’d been sexually abusing me. I used to blame myself for his death. It’s still hard sometimes not to feel responsible.

I’ve been homeless, sleeping at friends’ houses until I was no longer welcome. I had no other place to go. Sometimes I’d stay the night with complete strangers that my mom would meet in the bars. I was twelve when I first smoked pot and I started drinking and doing drugs regularly as an escape from it all a few years later. I was arrested and put in jail at eighteen.

I’ve lived in the “Real World.”

I didn’t like it.

Changing my life didn’t happen overnight. It happened slowly, one choice at a time. The choice to get clean. The choice to go back to school. The choice to get out of debt. The choice to travel. The choice to live life on my own terms. The choice to seek adventure. To find happiness. To be honest and vulnerable to hurt.

Even though none of us can control what happens to us, we still have the power to influence the outcome of our lives by how we react to any situation. Stop being a victim to the circumstances of your life. Don’t just be the product of other people. Choose yourself and begin creating a life you never thought possible.

It’s your choice.

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Sometimes it has to Hurt

At some point in the past, you gave up control of your life and ended up here.

But now what?

How the hell do you change it?

After being in a relationship for many years, I couldn’t do it anymore. On the surface, our relationship was perfect. Outside looking in, no one knew I wasn’t happy. People only saw what I wanted them to see. I didn’t want anyone to know I wasn’t in love. I didn’t want to disappoint them.

So when I decided to leave, it hurt a lot of people.

My family. Her family. Friends.

It hurts to lose the people in the periphery of life; the people I’d grown to care about over time. When I heard that the children were asking why I wasn’t at Thanksgiving that year, it tore me up inside. I still think about them often and wonder how they’re doing.

It wasn’t that I didn’t care … I just wanted to be happy.

And my need to be happy … to feel love … hurt a lot of people.

It wasn’t a decision made in an instant. I’d struggled for years trying to convince myself that I could fall in love, yet it never happened. Lie as I might, love isn’t something I could force myself to do.

The pain I caused has no doubt faded, and I know now that leaving was best for everyone. I was able to find love and leaving also allowed love to find my ex. It was something she deserved that I wasn’t able to give her.

The point is, change usually means doing shit that hurts like hell.

It’s easy to fall into a routine and get comfortable. Even if things haven’t worked out quite like we thought they would … even if we aren’t happy. We just accept our situation as if we have no control over it. We allow ourselves to become powerless and afraid to change. Victims of circumstance. We convince ourselves that our dreams are too dangerous; that it’s better to just “play it safe.”

Our dreams become just dreams…

Whatever you want out of life, you have to make it happen.

Even if it hurts.

Especially if it hurts…

It’s been my experience that it’s often the things in life we’re most afraid of that are most worth doing. It still hurts to know how much I hurt so many people that I care about.

It still feels selfish to have hurt other people just so I could be happy.

But sometimes it has to hurt.

Sometimes it’s worth the pain.


Stop Trying to Control Everything

I don’t know where to begin.

I feel like I’ve been lied to my entire life.

I’ve been taught to believe I control my life. That I can become the person I want to become. That I can experience the things I want to experience. That I can live the life I want to live. Fuck who I want to fuck.

That I can control everything. All of it.

And I can.

I control my life. I control my actions and they determine the results. I can go to school and work hard to get good grades so I can find a job that pays me well. I can find the perfect girl and live in the house with the white picket fence. I control where I vacation and what experiences I have in my life.

I control everything.

So maybe I haven’t been lied to…

Maybe I’ve just been misled into believing that having that control is the best way to experience life. Control allows me to live comfortably. I’m able to craft every detail of my daily existence precisely how I want it to be. No surprises.

Control gives me comfort.

I never have to leave my comfort zone. I can view the world through my own experiences … the ones I want to have for myself. Control is comfort.


I never have to do anything I don’t want to. I control that.

But what am I missing out on in my life by controlling everything I do?

What if I just let go and let life lead me instead of always trying to control life?

What if I just … let go?

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Just Let Go!

Post inspired by this scene in the movie Fight Club