“And now, the end is near,― Frank Sinatra, My Way
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I’ll say it clear,
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.
I’ve lived a life that’s full.
I’ve traveled each and every highway;
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.”
I know the term, “My Way” can be viewed as a selfish thought but doing it your way is what we ought to be doing…
Of all the definitions of timeline, I tend to like this: a graphical representation of a period of time, on which important events are marked. Many of us operate on a timeline based on other people’s expectations. We are a success, if we have met certain milestones by a certain age. We have been programmed since birth to think this way. There are many important decisions that we make and then later end up regretting because we knew from the start that that was not where we wanted to go. But we may have felt that others must know what they are talking about and so we willingly participate in our imprisonment in a reality that we did not want. Many people may say, “be yourself”; but it’s easier said than done. When you have been told what you ought to be, it’s hard to know for yourself. So you become a pseudo you. An impostor to everyone you know, trying to convince them and yourself that what they see is all that you are.
Paint Your Picture
You have good friends who mean well but at the end of the day you have to follow the road that suits you best. It may be hard for many to follow the path that takes them further from what seems safe and familiar but sometimes that is the best path to take. You may be moving at what someone would consider snail’s pace but trust me the pace you set for yourself is much safer to follow than someone else’s. At birth you are provided with an array of paints, brushes and a canvas; you must paint your own picture and determine whether or not it belongs in a frame. The picture you create should have all the things that you want in it, and should not be crowded with the dreams and expectations of others that have been created to be lived vicariously through you, the “sacrificial promise”. The colours and hues that are wrapped together should bring you a sense of satisfaction and not discontent because they have been muddied with other colours you never chose. Your colours may not match the rules but they fit you. And that’s good enough.
Let’s be honest, the expectations of others can be our biggest restriction from painting our lives the way God intended us to paint it. There are different ways of being in this world and that is what we need to accept, of ourselves and others. It is unfair to measure others by how we measure ourselves, yet many of us not only do it but we allow others to do it to us. Many wish they could pass on every tough decision they have to make in life but if we truly want to live freely, then this is impossible. We have to forget about the expectations of others and find what makes us happy and content. It may or may not be a life of visibility or prominence but it must be a life that makes sense to the person living it.
The Path Out…
We must think of how important our input is in our own story and how it unravels. Your timeline should reflect the fact that you were actively involved in its creation and should not be filled with the opinions and ideas of what others think you should be doing; of what you should be. Go at a pace that feels right to you even if it seems that everyone has left you in the dust. You are are not behind you are just running your race. It is important that we remember that we have the tools given by God to design our lives around the things that are most important for us. Do it your way and make your timeline richer and fuller for having done so.