My life aspirations have evolved immensely over the past year. Who knew that I would be where I’m standing today with a completely new set of goals in hand. Relationships were the centre of my life half of the time. My career, on the other hand, I wasn’t so sure.
When I was younger, I loved falling in love. Caught myself in a never-ending whirlwind of relationships since my late teens. Love can be dangerous when approached with full emotion, passion and no control.
I want to talk a bit about the conflicting feelings I had about these two seemingly opposing forces: aspirations of love, and aspirations of career and personal growth.
My seemingly never-ending aspirations of love
Growing up, my parents taught me that I needed to become perfect for the person who ends up choosing me as their life partner. That’s what the Asian culture was like for girls.
I was obsessed with the idea of finding and being with my “first love.” When I finally got into it, I didn’t realize how toxic it was. I was maybe 15 or 16 at the time and did whatever I could to make it work.
After that my life had just been a series of relationships. I was determined to find the right person to live the rest of my life with.
At the very same time, I was in the midst of a transformational period of my life that we all call college or university. I made friends who shared the same passions as me in technology and design. I was pushed to do the best work I can in my projects and assignments. The notion of being a career-focused individual came to exist in myself and my classmates.
This desire created growing intensity of conflict in my head about what I should be pursuing in life. I tried doing both and it wasn’t sustainable. I lost sleep, my mental health was at an all-time low and I was getting more depressed than I was in high school.
Even after I graduated from university my conflict still remained. I still got in and out of relationships at the drop of a ball.
New inspiration for personal and career growth
Up until these past 2 to 3 years I have been focused on finding “the right person” to fill the void in my life. And very recently (around when 2020 began) was when things started changing drastically.
I rekindled my love for Latin dance. Taking private classes this time, and learning again but with a fierce comeback. I was dancing every night of the week. I realized this was the first time I’ve had a passion for something that wasn’t another human being.
This time has been monumental for me. It fuelled my motivation to try a series of hobbies I have neglected for way too long. I‘ve since dropped off most of the hobbies I tried (and trust me, I tried a lot of them). But many stuck with me. And I realize these hobbies are nurturing my body, mind and spirit. They’re helping me uncover the path I was meant to walk in life.
Did the relationships die out?
Short answer? Kinda. As many leaps and bounds I made to get where I am today, there is still conflict. It comes and goes. Thinking about relationships still causes me to sometimes make the wrong decision.
I’d get into relationships that were really toxic for me. Even knowing from the get-go and seeing red flags, I still continued on with someone who was just not good for me.
But the good part is that these shitty decisions I make are noticeably less frequent.
But part of this experience in change and growth is discovering how much I’ve neglected myself. My inner child has been yearning to explore its curiosities. I’m finally letting this happen and a lot of good things are happening as a result of this.
Have you ever been torn between two paths to walk down in life? Do you feel like you’re focusing too much on one part of your life, and neglecting another?
Relationships are important, don’t get me wrong. But as I said in the beginning: they can get dangerous. A lot of people understand the notion of boundaries. How boundaries can keep things healthy in a growing relationship.
But if something else is calling you, don’t ignore the omens. Just because someone has taught you to live your life a certain way, does not mean you have to make it so. As we know as adults by now, there is a lot to be unlearned. In every aspect of life.
And remember that your sense of self, individuality, being your own person and having your own life is more important than chasing after someone else’s validation for you. It’s more important to discover your own path and to follow it than to carry on through life walking a path that someone else told you to walk.
Don’t abandon yourself, and don’t betray your own heart. And don’t let your environment dictate how you will proceed with your life aspirations.