A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval (Mark Twain)
I have struggled with this for years- I suppose it began in elementary school, around fourth grade. For the first time in my life, I had to make decisions like when my mother took me shopping, would I ask her to take me to stores like Abercrombie, or to stores like Bloomingdales? Would I conform to the way everyone else was dressing (super-tight jeans, camisoles that were lacy and totally inappropriate to be wearing in elementary school, etc.)
The answer I knew: I was much more Ralph Lauren and Lily Pulitzer than ripped jeans and super-mini mini-skirts. But that doesn't mean I was without the struggle for years.
Though I'm now twice the age I was then, I face obstacles of a similar nature- graduating from college in a couple months is a huge contributor to this. Do I approve of the choices I've made recently- like leaving a well-known university and generous scholarship behind after health issues, only to spend a couple semesters at a community college and then move on to a fashion school?
Slowly, I am accepting this.
Slowly, I am approving of this choice I made.
Do I approve of my choice to take a semester off from college to be with my family more? Yes, yes I do now that I know the weekends I spent driving an hour to see my grandparents would be the last weekends I spent with my grandfather before he passed on.
Do I approve of the choice I made when I left opportunities at PR firms behind because I just wasn't feeling the passion for it? Yes, yes I do now that I know how important it is to feel passion for what you are doing.
There are many choices I've made recently that I am not yet at ease with. And yet why, if I made these decisions myself, do I struggle with them?
It's the "what-if" factor, as I call it. What if I didn't do that, or what if I did this? The truth though, is that there are some questions we will never have the answers to. If we take one path, we will inevitably miss other paths. There is comfort to be found in this, because I am now learning that as a member of the twenty-first century it is acceptable to change your own path. It is acceptable to change your own path, but in doing so I believe it is important to first accept and approve of the choices made in the past.