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The Beauty of Making Choices

When was the last time you ever stopped yourself to reflect, thinking back at what has happened in your life so far and all the choices you had to make. Some went easy, others were heart-breaking. Do you remember regretting a choice you once made or do you even remember choosing something that didn't resonate with you just because you you felt pressured by others?


In this blog post I will be sharing my story, the choices I have made so far and the ones I got pushed into, I'm focussing on career choices and honestly, I could write a whole book but I'm keeping it brief also because I respect the privacy of others mentioned in my blogpost.


I will start by telling you I was an absolute people-pleaser and I kept on pleasing others, especially my family because I learned that that was what I was supposed to do. Don't get me wrong, I had a good childhood, I was given so many opportunities I am still grateful for. That doesn't mean I can't wish things went a bit different sometimes or I have to keep accepting certain words being said or things being done by others.


Growing up in a country where your career is a big part of your identity, I always felt like school was really important, otherwise I wouldn't end up with a good job. I had to get good grades and I had to be one of the best in school. Unfortunately, I ended up in the waterfall-system during high-school and when I graduated I was strongly advised not to enter a university, because I "only did technical school". I had always felt like I wasn't the smartest and I had little confident in my cognitive capacities, but this news had made everything worse.


Before the age of 18 many choices are made by others for you, because you're under-aged, but only now I can see the importance of listening to minors. It's something I take with me every day I'm teaching: listen to their opinion, their vision and their feelings and dreams. I wish more teachers and principals would allow the pupil to choose what they want instead of advising something to a 12 year-old under "light pressure". I am fortunate that I haven't experienced an action like this towards any of my pupils.


That being said, I started studying at college and I quit after 3 years with no degree but with burn-out symptoms. At that moment I still didn't realize I was supposed to have control over my life and choose whatever I wanted. I was taught to be serious and responsible but I (was) felt like I couldn't handle one serious decision. I ended up following teacher training in the city nearby, and, although I high valuate the contact with my pupils, I never felt like this was what I was meant to become: a teacher.


It wasn't until I was 25 years old, almost graduating as a teacher secondary school, that I realized I had to start making decisions for my own instead of pleasing others. I am soon to be 27 and I am living close to my job, with my parents. Don't get me wrong, you can live at any age with your parents, but you also have to be able to feel free and confident wherever you live.


And so through the past 2 years I more and more realized change is a good thing and it will happen now. Once I was an anxious 20'er who had no idea what she was doing but just tried to please everyone, until she woke up and realized that she was only one choice away from a completely different life. She even realized she could live her dream life! All she had to do was taking that step, making that choice. Don't question your decision, because honestly, you can hate yourself after 20 years for making one choice back then: you don't know if you don't try. I am happy I can now say that making choices has a beauty within it, it brings me certain excitement, and I do it (mostly) for myself, whereas five years ago I would lock myself up in my comfort zone and only come out to please others, feeling pressured to make any decision.


I hope my story has somehow inspired you to take your life into your own hands! Do you need some help with making decisions in your life? Let me know in the comments or DM me on IG.


With much love

I.V.

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