the MIRREN LEE

The 2012 Act Three Journey of an Actress/Coach/Writer.

Day 25 Directions

Posted by themirrenlee on 25/01/2012

Directions.

Every single day, we’re all going in various directions. Some we choose, some choose us.

So often Questions give us the Answers.

As I approach the end of the first month of my commitment to blog every day this year, I’m now considering which directions I’ll be going in with this website, as well as exactly what Categories I want to set up, and the schedule for each of them. That means I have to decide, for instance, which ones will get daily contributions, which weekly, which when something comes up I want to talk about, and which when I just feel a whim coming on!

The first thing I will do is shorten my daily blogs, so that I’ll have more time to write for the other Categories. I am especially keen to start my family history Category, called “A Different Kind of Normal”. All my life, when I’ve related stories to people verbally the negativity falls away and the (often very black) humor causes delightful convulsions of laughter. I want that same feeling to come through when writing about it. In so many ways it was a nightmare, but now that I’ve come through it (and thanks to a great deal of counselling), I see how it has helped me to become the person I am today, and that’s not a bad thing. It also gives me great insight into other people’s family problems, and sometimes even an ability to help because of the perspectives and experiences I’ve gained.

The main thing I’ve learned about Directions in Life is: no matter what they are, no matter how big or small, they must be YOUR CHOICES – no one else’s. Often your family, friends, even complete strangers (!) will have strong opinions on which Directions you “should” go in. I find this to be especially true with Hot Topics, like “Career Choices”, “Settling Down”, “Starting a Family”, “Education” and “Spending Your Own Money”, to name just a few.

My daughter, Sarah, who will be 25 in March, is encountering this with her travel plans. She has a good job, a wonderful relationship, and is incredibly employable due to her intelligence, personality and experience (she got her first part time job when she was 13). Everyone thinks she should be going to University. Instead, she wants to quit her job at the end of the year and go travelling again. She has already spent a couple of years travelling through Britain, Europe, the U.S. and Canada, where she stayed and worked for about a year. Where does she want to go now? She’s not completely sure yet – all she knows for sure is that she wants to visit the friends in Europe, England, Canada and the U.S. that she made the last time she went. Sarah is incredibly lucky because she is “multi passported”. My American background gives her an American passport, she has an Australian one by birth, and her Father’s Lithuanian side is now going to get her a Euro passport! This, of course, means she can work around the world. She’s also lucky that she has a wonderful boyfriend who shares her lust for travel.

I mention her as an example of how people try to influence your Directions because she has been put under a lot of pressure to go to University, being told that she’s “travelled already”! Those of you who have been bitten by the Travel Bug know that you never want to stop, and besides, why should she NOT travel? Wonderful, broadening, life changing experiences await those who are willing to lose sight of their own horizons. Whey would people want you to “trip up” over your travel plans?! (Sorry, couldn’t resist. Besides, I like puns.)

I am glad that she is not bowing to the pressure. I taught her years ago that being stubborn can be a strength, and passed on a lovely quote I read about not listening to other people but instead, “going where my pig is headed.” I’m happy to report that she took it on board and lives by it. I hope maybe the quote speaks to you, too.

Why do people pressure other people in their choice of Directions? I believe it usually comes from fear. The fear that they won’t be able to handle what might happen to you if what you’ve decided doesn’t work out. The fear that maybe you’ll succeed at something they wish they had the courage to try, and they’ll have bad feelings they won’t be able to handle. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter why. All that matters is that you follow your own pig, and leave them to follow theirs.

Advice is okay. Input is welcome. Ideas to help me follow my own sense of Directions are gratefully accepted. But don’t pressure me to go where you want me to go. I have my own destiny to fulfil, my own lessons to learn, and they may be in completely opposite Directions to yours. I hope you’re not letting anyone pressure you into Directions you don’t want to go. If you are, stop it! Find a way to get back on your own path, whatever it takes.

Trust me, I’ve followed both Directions, and the ones of my own choosing make me happier and more fulfilled.

I’m just followin’ my pig …

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