Each and every one of us has our own unique life to live. No two lives are the same, and if they were, this world would not be as exciting as it is now. what makes our lives unique are the choices we make along the way. Some choices are easy, while others are much harder. Nevertheless, we all have to make them at some point in our lives. In my own life I have had to make some choices that have taken me on a path that I never expected myself to travel on. yet without this path, I would not be the same person that I am today.
As I’ve written in previous pieces, all my life I have felt like I was drastically different from everyone around me. I sometimes felt like an alien who was sent down by the mother ship but given no real instructions on how to properly behave like a normal human being. Of course, now I know that there’s really no such thing as being “normal”, but at the time I yearned for normalcy so that I would not have to feel so alone in the world. But after some time, I knew deep in my heart that a normal life was not one for me. I was destined to craft a life full of intricacies and unexpected choices that would take me to places that I never imagined I’d go. And so I set off, unprepared but still excited for the journey ahead of me.
One of the more prominent choices that I made in crafting my own life was choosing to partially leave my high school at 16 and go to college early through a special program. At the time it was a no-brainer for me because high school didn’t fit my needs or desires. I never truly fit in with my peers, and had spent many nights anguishing over having to go back there every day. I also though that a change of scenery would do me good and expand my ever-curious horizons. I always wanted to have the most authentic experience that I could get, and going to a local community college allowed me to get that at a young and formative age.
My choosing to leave my high school sent me on a much different path than if I had stayed where I was. I got to experience so much more of the real world, even if that world was mostly confined to the city of Columbus, Ohio. I spent time after class getting to know people whose backgrounds were much different than my own. I explored the downtown Columbus scene and all it had to offer, taking in the culture that exuded throughout the place I called home. I read new books, saw new films, and overall tried my best to diversify my intake as much as possible. It was an experience that I did not fully appreciate when I was younger, but looking back on it now, it’s easy to see just how much it shaped me into the woman I am today.
I sometimes sit and wonder how my life would have turned out if I had not decided to make this change back when I was just 16. What would life had been like if I had followed the crowd and not taken a leap of faith to craft my own path? Maybe I would be more successful financially or had more people to call friends in my life. Or maybe I would be drastically unfulfilled and feel like a phony. There’s no telling what that reality would look like exactly, but I’m glad to be in the one I’m in now. Deciding to break away and do my own thing was one of the best decisions that I have ever made, and every day I’m thankful that I took a chance like it. As I continue to craft my own path throughout my life, I hope to always remember the 16-year-old girl who went against her fears and dared to be different. I don’t know all that my life has to hold just yet, but I promise to follow my own individual path to the life that I want.