Drop the “If” and Do It

Last night, as Preston and I were discussing how our days went, he mentioned a conversation he had with one of his coworkers. As they were talking, the man mentioned that if he had it to do over again, he would have gone into the finance business.

My head dropped a little when I heard that. Not because there’s anything wrong with the finance business, but because I hate seeing or hearing people talk about all of the things they could have done or would have done or wished they would have done. The look in their eyes when they talk about all of the things they regret not doing. You can see them imagining how different their life might have been with those choices. And my heart aches as I watch them long for a different life.

With everything in me, I want every person I meet to absolutely fall in love with their life. I want all of their dreams to come true and all of their goals to be accomplished. I hate seeing people beaten down by life and feel like they haven’t done enough to be good enough.

So, as I was sympathizing with this man, I casually asked how old he was. Judging by his statement, I had already assumed he must be pushing retirement age. Or, at the very least, nearing 50. A man who was responsible for a family and felt it impossible to drop his job and pursue a new career. I was ready to offer the most comforting, positive, reassuring statement I could muster on the man’s behalf.

“How old is he?”

“22”

Excuse me? Come again.

Twenty two. A whole 3 years into official “adulthood.” Just 3 years ago, he was a teenager. And three years later, in his mind, he’s cemented his career choices.

Since when did 22 become the age we cement the trajectory of our life in stone? Are we all suppose to know our lifetime career at 22?

Maybe it’s horrifying because I’m 22 and still have so many areas of the field I want to explore. Or maybe it’s horrifying because it’s absolutely not a realistic conviction.

Either way, I’m going to pass on this idea. No thank you. That is not how this is suppose to work.

If I had it to do all over again.”

Well, listen up, buddy. You DO have it to do over again. In fact, there isn’t even much you have to go back and do over at this point. You’re just getting started.

“But I have bills to pay and mouths to feed.”

Absolutely, you do. And this isn’t a chance to neglect those responsibilities. It won’t be easy. But, as Momma always said, “Nothing worth having comes easy.”

Just because you are young, doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. I’m not trying to argue that it will be. The truth is, the decisions we make all have consequences. Sometimes, those consequences lead to making our life more difficult.

But notice that choice of words. It makes it more difficult NOT impossible.

Starting school. Chasing a degree. Switching careers. Climbing the corporate ladder.

None of those things are going to be easy, especially if you have a laundry list of other obligations you have to fulfill. But what’s easier? Working towards your goals, sacrificing along the way, to achieve the life you want. Or working a career you resent for the next 50 years because you didn’t think you had another way?

Make a way. Do what needs to be done to achieve your dreams, and don’t stop until you’ve achieved them. The pride you will feel standing at the end of that journey will far outweigh the heartache you went through to get there.

It won’t be easy. It never will. But I can guarantee it will be worth it.

Alongside me, there are 2 single mothers, 1 military spouse and mother, and a grandmother all working towards their B.S in Nutrition to be a Registered Dietitian. They all have a crazy amount of responsibilities to juggle on top of school, and they amaze me everyday. But they have chosen to make their dreams a priority. For themselves, their families, and their future.

It’s never too late to go after what you want. It might not be easy, but it will be worth it. Don’t live your life saying, “If I did it over again I would….”

Drop the “if” and do it. Step out of your comfort zone. Push yourself to the limit. Give it everything you have. Make the necessary sacrifices. And just do it.

Your future self will thank you.

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