When Your Life Looks Nothing Like You Imagined

We often grow up with an idea of what our life will look like when we are at a certain age, more often than not, it is a realistic image, and more often than not, life doesn’t necessarily mirror the image we had for it. At that moment, we can feel inadequate, we can feel like a failure and we can feel that we failed to create the life we want or deserve, but if we take a closer look sometimes the magic is in the journey rather than the destination, it is in the lessons we learn along the way and the changes we have to go through to become the best versions of ourselves.

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My life didn’t turn out to be anything like I imagined, in fact the image I had for my life doesn’t even come close to what it is now, and even though I do have my days when I brood about it and wonder where I went wrong, I still smile when I look back at the things I learned when the pieces of the puzzle didn’t fit.

Warning: lots of clichés in this post, but this is exactly what I need to tell myself and thought I’d share with everyone.

1. You Learn To Steer The Wheel In Another Direction

You know how the saying goes “If you don’t bend you will break” You will find yourself face to face with your fears and your worst nightmares, but you will have to face them, even if you don’t win, even if you fall short, even if you will never be the same person again, you will navigate through them to reach your destination. It is exactly like driving, sometimes you get lost, sometimes you take roads you don’t want to take, sometimes you drive alone at night and it can get scary, sometimes you will have to stop at a red light even though you can’t wait to go home, sometimes you will get into an accident and it may or may not be your fault, but the key will always be to keep driving and steer the wheel in another direction, whatever direction leads you back home.

2. You Will Be Forced To Look Within For Validation

If you are a people person like myself, you get your energy and your validation from those around you, you always wonder do they like me? Did I say the right thing? Are they going to speak well about me? Does my boss think I’m smart enough? Will this person stay or will they get bored and leave? You constantly expend your energy on those around you and that sometimes can be the demise of your own identity and personal growth. This may sound like a cliché but it is true, the best way to use your energy is to consume it on yourself first, and be in touch with who you are regardless of what those around you think of you. You have to embrace your flaws and shortcomings while working on them rather than seek validation from those around you. It helps when someone sees something good in us that we ceased to believe and it helps when someone picks us up when we fall, but at the end of the day, it is temporary relief. If you want long-term relief, you need to seek validation from yourself first and welcome the validation of others second, but you should always come first.

3. You Might Want To Reconnect With God

“When we have nothing left but God, we discover that God is enough.” This is one of my favorite quotes to sum up faith and life too. When things don’t go as planned, and when life gets hard, it is easy to sink in a dark hole and drown in a sea of anger, negativity and despair; also known as rock bottom. The good thing about hitting rock bottom is the fact that it allows you to reach to a higher power, ask for help, pray and seek guidance from Allah. If it takes a toll on your faith, let me assure you that you will not make it out of rock bottom easily, however if you use it as a tool to reconnect with God and strengthen your faith and the belief that God has a better plan for you and that his plans will make you happier than you ever thought you will be, you will be just fine. God sometimes gives us what we need rather than what we want, sometimes it is best not to ask questions and try to go against the ebb and flow of what God brings to our life, sometimes it is better to look up and say I know you got this, let go and keep the faith.

4. You Are Going To Lose Some People

It is a part of life, the more you know who you are and seek validation from within, the more people you are going to lose. Some people will not like it, some people will try to bring you back down, some people will hurt you, some people will walk away, some people will give up on you, and others will stab you right in the face. Only a few good ones will stick around and respect the transition, those people are the ones that are in your life to stay and will help you become your best self. I must say this is the hardest lesson, it doesn’t only require strength and self-control, it requires you to never look back, to close some doors that you so wanted to remain open. The hardest part is not letting them go, the hardest part is letting them go knowing you will not let them back in again, knowing that deep in your heart this person will cause you more damage than good and they have to go. In some cases, losing is winning.

5. It Will Make You A Better Person

Finally, when your life doesn’t turn out the way you wished for, it will humble you. It will make you a kinder person, a more sympathetic person, a wiser person, a stronger person, a less judgmental person, a deeper person, or simply it will make you human. You will learn that you can’t be perfect and you never will be, you will learn that you will fail at things you thought you were good at, you will learn that you can be hard to love sometimes, you will learn that you have bipolar tendencies, you will learn that you cannot control your surroundings and you cannot make someone change or someone love you. You will learn to accept your fate and stop trying to change it. You will learn that life will scar you, and it will hurt you but it will also surprise you-sometimes in a good way, and one day you will look back and be able to connect the dots, one day you will look back and make sense of all the confusion, one day you will surprise yourself when you look at the image you had for your life and realize that it doesn’t resonate with you anymore and it doesn’t matter.


One Response to “When Your Life Looks Nothing Like You Imagined”

  1. Haitham Jafar Says:

    Thanks for this post. I think what I liked most is the sequence in those 5.
    Maybe just maybe number 2 (You Will Be Forced To Look Within For Validation) is what resonates with me the most, at least at (in?) this phase of my life.

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