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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