Life can be a prickly old thing, especially when it comes to choosing our own path. When we’re younger, we’re taught to focus on what we will become, to plan on how we will get there and what way we will do with our lives. As if any of us really know when we’re 10!

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I’m not just talking about careers here. I’d love to generalise and tell you that everyone is the same but some of my closest friends have amazing veterinarian careers that they chose at the age of 6 and thoroughly love what they are doing (though, I’ve heard some horror stories about birthing lambs that put me right off). What I’m talking more about is how we choose to live our lives and do so happily.

Recently, I’ve had a few experiences that have made me take stock and cherish what is important, no matter what age we are. In fact, I think my point becomes more lucid with age and I wanted to share it with you.

We go through life, choosing paths that in truth, aren’t really chosen by us. We might go to college, attend university and the like, then we’re set free like a starry-eyed puppy off a thrashing lead… only to realise that the horror of paying council tax, student debt and, let’s face it, the rat race of keeping up with the Jones’s means you need to dive right into a job.

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I remember my first full-time position. It was one of those jobs you get when you looking to make the leap onto the career ladder. As life would have it, the job had absolutely zilch to do with my degree, my masters or my research but it did pay me enough for my rent and to begin to chip away at that student debt. I’d made friends and I liked nattering all day about irreverent stuff that passed the time… but that’s all it was. Passing the time.

Two years passed and I was still there. Too comfortable in staying and too uncomfortable to actually jump into the long grass… but then, something changed.

You might recall when I wrote about my mum being diagnosed with that monster of a disease, cancer and how hard it was for me to travel? This was the moment when I knew things had to change, it jolted me into some sort of new way of thinking that I now value every single day.

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Growing up is a really strange phenomenon. When we’re younger, we always see our parents as being invincible and somewhat super-hero like *cue Power Rangers theme tune*. Cancer changes that with not even an inch of remorse. Life suddenly shows its stark fragility for us all to see.

My mum thankfully beat that wretched cancer but one thing has always stayed with me. To always be happy with my own path and to choose how I want to live my life. A few weeks after my mum was given the all-clear, I decided to quit my job.

I wanted to take charge of my life, focus on my passion for writing and travel and cherish the precious time I have with loved ones. The latter will always be the most important.

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Each of us has a direction. You might know your path from when you were 6 and wanted to be that lamb-birthing vet, you might come to the realisation 2 years into a job you didn’t really choose (like me), or you might come to the conclusion later in life. It doesn’t matter when it’s just important that you get to that point and to cherish each day and choose your path.

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It’s so easy for us to place a higher value on buying that particular car, or having the right type of holiday or choosing the right outfit for a night out but I assure you, that’s just fodder when it comes down to the true grit of real life.

Don’t undervalue your relationships, cherish your loved ones and take charge of the path you’re leading. Chase after your dreams otherwise there’s no chance they’ll come true. Don’t be afraid to ask for fear of rejection and make sure you always place value on your happiness.

We all have one, precious, life and it’s something that’s more valuable than anything you can buy.

Our lives are better lived when we make conscious decisions that push us towards our happiness instead of just by following someone else’s directions. Choose your path and your happiness, today and always. ✨



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  • Thanks for the awesome post, Lloyd! This definitely resonated with me. Life sure knows how to throw curve balls your way and send you on a few scenic routes instead of the direct path to your dreams.. But it’s so important to be true to yourself and stick to your passions. Whether that means leaping into the unknown or Lord knows what else! Choosing happiness, and making sure it’s a priority, is one of the most important things you can do!

    I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday,
    Michael
    https://www.mileinmyglasses.co.uk

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much, Michael for your really kind words. I’m so happy that my post resonated with you, too 😊

      Lloyd 😀

  • Natalia Cooke (The Petite Expl

    What a beautiful post. I had a similar encounter with cancer (although with less of a happy ending) and it completely changed the direction of my life. It’s a shame we don’t appreciate how happy we can be until it’s almost too late.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thank you so much, Natalia. Cancer is an awful thing isn’t it… truly terrible. So glad you agree, we really don’t appreciate how happy we can be 😘

      Big hugs,
      Lloyd xx

  • Lotte

    Yes, thanks for writing this! I think it’s important to do (some things) what you like and that is it okay that these interests might change over time.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thank you so much, Lotte. totally agree, it’s so important isn’t it.

      Lloyd xx

  • Taste of France

    Amen.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks 🤗

  • Yes, yes, yes! <3

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much! 😘

      Lloyd xx

  • I couldn’t agree with you more! Cancer runs on my father’s side of the family and every time we’re hit by it, I can’t help thinking “what am I doing with my life??” Dude, life is short and we should all be doing what we enjoy most. For you, that’s writing and travelling. For me, it’d be writing and reading books all day *wistful sigh* Sometimes I really wish I had the guts to quit my job and just travel the world, writing and reading through all different kinds of places.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much, Vanessa. I totally know what you mean. I don’t even know if it was guts or just downright recklessness but I knew I had to do it.

      So happy you’ve started your new blog 😘

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

      • Even it *was* recklessness, look how well things turned out! You’ve made a total success of yourself and I couldn’t be happier for you xx (I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying lol).

        • HandLuggageOnly

          Ahhh! Thanks lovely lady! Haha @ YOU’RE crying! 🤣

          xx

  • So incredibly beautiful! I think it’s so important for others to recognise that success doesn’t always mean a prestigious career or a healthy bank account. Success stems from happiness, love and achievements. Careers mean nothing unless you love what you do and you love the life you live! X

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Exactly! Thanks so much for your really kind words, Kate. It means so much to me.

      Thank you.
      Lloyd 😘

  • Anya

    Good for you that you made that jump and quit your job – and good for us because we can enjoy this awesome blog now! I totally get it though. I honestly can’t remember the last conscious decision I made. It seems like things are just happening to me. I’ll be finished with my Master’s this year and everyone is trying to tell me what to do next. I feel like especially as a women you’re supposed to decide if you want children or a career but what if I want neither of these things? I just want to spend as much time as possible with the people I love and doing the things I enjoy.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Totally agree with you, Anya – it’s really difficult isn’t it. I felt like I was coasting… which didn’t feel good. I can only imagine how it must be for women too. You’re so right, I see my sister having the same festering thoughts about what she ‘should/needs’ to do.

      Lloyd xx

  • This is such a beautiful post, Lloyd. Couldn’t agree with you more on always choosing happiness. Life is just too short! And things like cancer/death of loved ones definitely help us put that into perspective. I’m very glad to hear your mom beat it!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thank you so muhc, Rachel. That means a lot to me. Thank you ❤️

      Lloyd xx

  • Hayley Rubery

    Oh babes this post is STUNNING! It truly hit home for me, my boyfriend is so unhappy at work and we’re currently saving and working towards him leaving and just travelling together – it’s always been our dream and after our trip to the Maldives we realised that there’s SO much more to life than the rat race. So proud of you for following your dreams.. look how much you’re smashing it! <3

    Hayley xo
    http://www.frockmeimfamous.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ahhhh, I wanna give you a big hug! Thank you so much, Hayley! So so kind of you to say!

      Exactly! You’re both going to conquer the world with your travels, honestly… totally get why you’re saving to do it. Pull yourself outta that race if you can xx

      Lloyd x