2014: Staying Open to the Alternatives

IMG_9170 Happy New Year, all of you beautiful souls out there! It feels like 2013 passed in a “New York minute” and 2014 marched in mightily in all of its fresh start glory. It’s kind of crazy how 12 months passes so quickly sometimes and we’re all left either reflecting or planning how to make the next year “our year.” I think the frustrating parts of figuring out how to maneuver in a New Year are having such high expectations of ourselves and holding ourselves too accountable. I mean let’s just be honest here, many of us have major difficulty going from 0 to 60 and keeping that pace doing things we were never really that into doing in the first place. For example, you hate running and now all of a sudden you’re going to successfully force yourself to do it 4 times a week for at least 2 miles for the rest of the year/ever. In some ways the idea just sounds absurd, but that’s basically what many of us find ourselves attempting to do in one way or another. Is it not? Essentially, “I’m going to force myself to do something that I don’t really like or have no desire to do… to either A.) Live up to someone else’s ideal of me, B.) Live up to my personal ideal of me or C.) Figure out what the hell I should or need to be doing with myself, so I’m going to do what everyone else thinks or says is a good idea to do.”

So let me get this straight….this is how you plan on becoming the best version of yourself in the upcoming year? Hmmm…

I feel as if I should clarify my point here. There is absolutely nothing wrong with attempting to do things that help you to become a better version of you, there’s nothing wrong with forcing yourself to do certain things either. Let’s be real here, if we all LOVED running, no one would ever be out of shape. However, some people choose to run as a way to get in/stay in shape. Some of these people still never love running, but they force themselves to do that type of exercise even though they know other alternatives exist. Conversely, some people absolutely love running and couldn’t see themselves ever choosing to commit to a different type of exercise. Conversely, yet again, some people know that running is an option, but that it isn’t necessarily the option that most fits them or makes them happiest and so they choose to do another type of exercise that does. I hope you’re catching my drift here…it all boils down to the power to choose alternatives.

Often times, I think we rob ourselves of some of our power because we don’t exercise our power to choose alternatives. If there was only one way to get to every destination, imagine how screwed we’d all be, not to mention PISSED because of the traffic jams we’d undoubtedly encounter. We should start taking advantage of all the alternate routes that exist out there for us. Sure, the tried and true option always looks the most attractive, typically because it’s the safest. Have you ever heard the quote that there’s “safety in numbers?” Well that’s how I like to look at things, the more choices there are, the safer I feel. I only tend to find myself stressed and feeling unsafe when I have extremely limited options or choices. Whereas, some people are opposite, some people are intimated by too many choices and feel most comfortable with limited options. That’s fine, too, but I want you to know that you don’t have to be that way only. You have the power to choose.

I mean, come on, just because it worked for someone else doesn’t mean it will definitely work for you and even if it does work for you it doesn’t mean that you’ll still be happy about the outcome or the route that you felt pressured to take because it was the safest and most chosen one.

I think 2014 should be all about staying open to the alternatives and trusting yourself enough to make the decisions that you feel are most right for you even if they aren’t in alignment with what everyone else seems to be doing.

So, here we are, making all of these resolutions, stressing ourselves out over them or beating ourselves up when we slip up or our resolutions start slipping by the wayside. It’s SO unfair and SOOO unnecessary!

One thing that we aren’t going to be in any year, ever, is perfect. We will make mistakes. We will realize that we’re not passionate about something that we thought we were or that we would like to be. We will get tired. We won’t always be in the mood to do something we promised ourselves we would do. Hell, we might even completely give up on something.

There are times to force yourselves to do certain things. There are times when you must absolutely hold yourself accountable. There are times when you will have to make yourself show up for yourself, your passions and your dreams. And not because they aren’t important to you, but because you’re human, and because we’re all subject to being “off” no matter how much we’d like to be “on.”

The beauty in recognizing and embracing this is that you understand it’s okay. IT’S OKAY!!!!

Let me tell you something, if your goal or final destination is to live an extraordinarily awesome and fulfilling life then the likelihood of you doing that on the path that society dictates is extremely slim, not impossible, but slim. God designed this universe and our lives to be like an atlas road map, full of winding roads, some dead ends, scenic routes, not so scenic routes, confusing routes, perfectly straight routes, etc…if you’ve ever tried to navigate using a map like this then you’ll know how intimidating it can look initially, all of these options, but if you look a little deeper you’ll realize that A.) There’s typically more than one way to reach a particular destination and B.) That all of these options (routes) are right at your fingertips and you can go any way you choose to go.

That, my friend, is all the direction you need.

In 2014. In life. In love. In your happiness. In your journey.

Stay open. You never know what gems may be presented to you.



With Love,

Brittni Pope


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