Choices

“Sometimes you have to choose between a bunch of wrong choices and no right ones. You just have to choose which wrong choices feels the least wrong.” 
― Colleen HooverHopeless

Life is kind of funny, right? We are all these people walking around the world, getting to know people, going to school, working at some job, and making choices left and right. When I think about life and the choices we make that affect the path our life takes, I always think about that movie with Emily Blunt and I think, Matt Damon? The movie where they have to make all these decisions that will decide how their life plays out and every move they make is shown on this map. It shows them where they were supposed to meet and if they didn’t meet at this certain point, all these things will change. I don’t know, it was a pretty cool movie but it’s been a while. I always think about that map though. I think about my life map and how every decision I make is part of this giant puzzle we call life.

Life isn’t about being perfect. It’s not supposed to be and it almost always feels very much imperfect, We all want it to be perfect though. In a way. Like, we all understand that life is messy and it can’t possible be perfect, but we still want it to be so badly. We want to make the right friends. We want to meet the right guy or girl. We want to go to the right college. We want to find the right job. We want life to be how we want it. That’s why we all want the newest phone or newest car. We want our life to feel and look perfect. It’s partly with how most of us were raised. But it has a whole lot to do with media and phones. We all want to post that perfect picture on Instagram so we can get the number of likes we desire. We all want that perfect outfit for fall that we saw on Pinterest. We want everyone around us to see that our life is awesome and – whether we admit it or not – we do want it to look perfect. Even though we know perfect doesn’t exist. We know that. We just want to feel like we made the right choices in our life that leads us to an extraordinary life.

Life needs to feel extraordinary. I don’t care who says, “I like being ordinary”…they’re lying. No one wants to feel ordinary. We don’t. I think we are content with ordinary. We embrace being ordinary. We are good with being ordinary, but we don’t really want to be ordinary. We want to feel extraordinary and we want others to know it too. The truth is we are all ordinary people. A celebrity is just a celebrity. A pro-athlete is just a pro-athlete. We are all ordinary people who have extraordinary gifts. For me, I am very much ordinary. I was raised in a suburb in Texas. I grew up with two parents and a brother. I had a family dog. I went to good schools. I wore good clothes. I was involved in sports. I was involved in student council. I made good grades. I turned in my homework. I went to college. I got married. I am a teacher. I live in Colorado now. I am your ordinary 25-year-old girl with some extraordinary gifts. What are my gifts? Read that list I typed above again. Did you read anywhere that I starred in a hit film? Or won a gold medal in the Olympics? Or saved the world from an asteroid? No, you didn’t. Because that isn’t me. That isn’t my life. But that definitely doesn’t make me ordinary or plain. I am extraordinary because of the choices I made in my life. No one made these choices for me. The only choices made for me were when I was too young to think for myself or walk on my own two feet. Even in elementary school, I made most of my daily choices. My parents decided the clothes I wore and what food I ate and which sports I played and which friends’ house I could go to. But I made decisions on my own 8 hours a day at school. I could have been the lazy kid who didn’t do her homework or fell asleep in class. I could’ve been the class clown. I could’ve been the social butterfly (Okay probably not, I was pretty shy in class). I could’ve acted a totally different way, but I chose to be me. I chose to be pretty ordinary.

The choices you make are funny. Most of the time if you make good choices, good things happen. And when you make bad choices, bad things happen. Then life throws you curve balls in between. You eat the right things and exercise, but you find out you have cancer. You have a wonderful family that you’re close to and call all the time, but you lose a family member to a tragedy that is out of your control. I’ll give you two examples from my life and the choices I made and how they affected my future. The first, is how I met my husband. I don’t believe in accidents. God knows what he’s doing and what is going to happen in your life every step of the way. He knows the good and he knows the bad. He doesn’t punish us, but trials do come our way. I made a lot of bad choices with guys and a lot of good choices before I met Dakota. I always loved having a boyfriend growing up. There were guys I liked… always. High school was really the turning point for me. I realized then that not all guys are good guys. Because I grew up with some pretty great guys who came from good families, I really didn’t know. However, I met a guy my freshman year of high school who was a pretty big focal point of my high school career. Good things came from this relationship, but a lot of bad. The good things that came from it are that it made me stronger as a person. I lived in a bubble where nothing bad ever happened and he was the first person that bursted that bubble. It took until college, but I learned what kind of guy I deserve. I learned how I deserve to be treated. I learned to not settle for just any guy. The bad that came from it is that I thought I was in love. I thought that’s what a relationship was. There were things he wanted and would never back down about. He made me feel very small. I cried a lot over some guy that didn’t deserve it. Worst of all, it cost me some of my closest friendships. I don’t blame them either. From this experience I had during my high school career, I decided I needed a fresh start. I wanted to move on from my past and not be known for it. I decided to go to an out-of-state college. I decide to go to Oklahoma State University and my very first week, I meet Dakota. I took what I learned from my past and decided to just be friends with him first. I wanted to eventually marry my best friend. That was the big part I was missing in my relationships from high school. I wasn’t looking for a guy who was also my best friend. The rest is, of course, history. I have been with Dakota since my fresh start and he will still be there until the end. I made a whole lot of wrong choices that I learned from that led me to the greatest choice of my life. 

The second timeline of choices deals with what I wanted to be when I grew up. I learned in 6th grade that I wanted to be a teacher. I didn’t want to look at anything else. I wanted to teach. I knew I wouldn’t make a lot of money. I knew that teaching is very underappreciated. I knew that teaching may have seemed like an “easy choice”, but it wasn’t for me. It was my passion and I wanted to go all in with it. In middle school and high school, I baby-sat. I payed attention to my teachers. In college, I was a camp counselor every summer. I worked at after school day care programs. I applied for a full year student teaching program. I put an awesome resume together. I made an electronic resume website to really stand out. I made a teaching portfolio. I thought that no matter where I moved, I would have a teaching job in the bag. I graduated college, married Dakota, moved to Colorado, and looked for jobs. Well, really I looked and applied for jobs my entire senior year of college. But I graduated and moved, and got no job. I had one connection through my brother’s best friend that landed me a part-time teaching job for first grade. After that, I had to substitute, nanny, and even Uber. I just now landed a full-time teaching job this last August. That is 2 years after graduating college!!! I thought I made all the right choices. I worked hard. I had a stellar resume. But life doesn’t work that way. There are reasons behind everything and it takes a long time before you ever realize just why those things happened. Bottom line is – choices make you who you are, but sometimes you can make all the right choices for years and life still doesn’t work out the way you imagined. Life isn’t perfect. No matter how much I want it to be. No matter how much I want to feel perfect. It just isn’t. Life is about choices and what you make of it. I choose to teach. I choose to be a good wife at the age of 25. I choose to stay close to my family (both sides of it). I choose to surround myself with people who love and care about me the way I do for them. I choose to live an ordinary life doing extraordinary things.

“Everything happens for a reason”

As always, thanks for reading! Live life the way you want to live it! Happy Holidays!

 

xoxo,

Tori

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