I have a tendency to complain. There's something comforting about it, especially when I can get others to commiserate with me. Then it's like I have permission to get all righteous about whatever I've decided is responsible for my discontent and that makes me feel better somehow. But I really do know that all of that is pointless and futile.
It takes me a while sometimes, but it's very refreshing when I remember that it's all a choice. Everything I do, except for involuntary actions like blinking and breathing of course, is my choice. There are no "have to's."
I don't "have to" wake up in the morning to go to work. I prefer living in a home and eating regularly because I want to be comfortable and live, so I choose to go to work. I don't "have to" suffer through traffic. I prefer to drive any long distances rather than walk or bike. I choose my routes because I want to get to my destination faster. I don't "have to" eat celery instead of that frosted doughnut. I choose to because I want to feel healthy. And I don't really "have to" write this post.
I am not a plastic bag buffeted about in the wind at the mercy of outside forces. I am the architect of my life. Of course there are the limitations of circumstances and opportunites that we all work with, but there is still always a choice. And I love when I remember that, because there's empowerment in knowing how much control I actually do have over the construction of my life.
Before enrolling at Granite State College, I complained quite a bit about how little money I made and about how unattainable certain opportunities were due to my lack of higher education. When someone suggested I go to college, I'd complain about how hard it would be, how expensive it would be, how I couldn't go to school because of my work hours, that it would be too big a load to bear while supporting myself.
I was lucky that someone told me about the affordability of Granite State College and that it offered accelerated studies and the flexibility of online and weekend college classes. But luck wouldn't have been enough. After talking myself into how it was ultimately up to me to change my life and that it was useless to just wait for something to happen that might make my whole life better, I made a choice.
I chose to get a degree. I chose to change my life.