"So I changed my life."

I didn't write this. I found it in the comments section in a Reddit post from many years ago. I don't know who the author is, and his or her account has been deleted, so I'll never know. I'm re-posting it without permission, then, because I believe it's worth reading, and it's more 'worth reading' than most of what I write:

My home caught on fire back in 1998 (or was it 1999?). Anyway, I wasn't sure I would get out before I got asphyxiated and for a few seconds I contemplated my life. It happened without warning and it was an incredible few seconds. My life flashed before my eyes and I understood what was important to me, immediately.

Yet I continued doing what I was "supposed" to be doing. And while I was successful up to that point, I began to fail, inexplicably. I no longer had the same perspective. The blinders were removed and I could not go back to who I was before. In about a year or so after the fire, I could no longer reconcile my belief system with what I was doing day after day (work, play, whatever).

So I changed my life. You are on the right track to finding your true happiness--you have now recognized the problem.

Now your free time should be spent pursuing anything and everything until you find your bliss.

I am sure you have heard it before and it has become cliche, but the journey is the joy, not the destination.

When your family and friends question your activities because you are not meeting their expectations, make a game of it: see how long you can last being true to yourself. You will have lapses where you fall back into what is comfortable. Don't worry about those, just dust the real you off and pursue whatever you find internally rewarding.

And please, do not fall into the trap of "I will just pursue these artificial goals for X amount of time and THEN I will become my true self." That's folly and you are lying.

Republished: 7/24/2023   

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