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  • Writer's pictureJenna Broughton

2018: A Lesson on Becoming

Updated: May 2, 2021

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I never wanted an ordinary life, and for a long time I had this idea that I could design the one I wanted. But as the time went yonder, my sunny notions of a life lived otherwise went with it. So, I let the current take me into the valley of expectations.

But when you behave in a way that isn’t innate to who you are, you start to lose yourself. After some time, I felt woebegone and adrift in a world of my own making. ​​The professional persona I cultivated so I could function in a world foreign to me ​began to take over, and the ​real me receded​ into the background until I barely recognized Her. ​Some days I reached for Her, but she was numb to my touch​​.

I pushed aside the things that had brought me joy, and after awhile these trade-offs that once seemed like small comprises compounded and made me resentful. I had sacrificed Her at the altar of pragmatism. ​The artifice was always going to crumble–no one can bear that weight forever.

My truth is that I have always preferred the order of chaos to the rigidity of routine. I am more interested in the here and now than 10-year plans. I act on my whims. I book one-way plane tickets. And I like surprise endings. My life is unstructured, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We spend so much of our life trying to avoid the messiness, but that’s where art is created, where love lives and life happens. I am a whole lot of messy, and for a long time I worked hard at trying to keep my area tidy. But in 2018, I gave myself permission revel in the disorder. It has been a two-year journey in becoming and realizing that I don’t have to apologize for not wanting to fall in line.

Consequently, the life I am living today is much closer to the one I had once imagined I could design. I have found a job that allows me to better integrate travel and writing into my life. It has allowed for big and small adventures. But moreover, I found Her again, and now I feel whole.

In previous years, I felt woeful at the start of another year. It was cause to reflect on the previous 12 months of missed opportunities and forgotten dreams. But for the first time in a long time, I am not as interested in what was in the past, and I am just looking forward to looking forward.


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