Choose Your Own Adventure – Ryan Barker, Tuesday Thoughts

You’ve reached a point in your life where it’s time to move on. You feel like if you waste one more second not living out your dream, you’ll go mad. So you decide to drop everything and move. It’s a whole new world you live in. It’s a whole new way to see. It’s a whole new place with a brand new attitude. But in the past few days and weeks, you begin to realize something about yourself.

If you’ve realized that having other people by your side as a support system is hugely important, turn to Page 7

If you’ve realized that you’ve fallen in love with something all over again, turn to Page 18

– – –

Didn’t end up where you expected, did you? That’s life. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d go from living in a small town in southern Virginia to the concrete jungle of New York City. Yet here I sit, writing this from my apartment in upper Manhattan. I have an insatiable desire to make people laugh and I know I’d never be truly happy with myself unless I could spread this disease to as many people as possible throughout the course of my life. New York’s pretty populated, so it seems like a good place to start.

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My true essence is captured in this photo

Think about whatever it is you love to do; the thing that makes you happier than anything else on Earth. It makes you smile and gives your a warm feeling inside that nothing else can bring. Assuming it’s legal, find a way to do it. If you can’t make a career out of it, make it a hobby. Or something you do every now and then. Just find some way to incorporate it into your life.

The only thing holding you back is you. If you turn to the page where you fall into a life of comfort and safety, there’s no option to keep your thumb on the old page to flip back and try again. Take a risk and turn to a page you’ve never seen before. I’ll support you every step of the way, and I’m sure your friends and loved ones will feel the same. They might take some convincing first. Perhaps a well thought out manifesto paired with a detailed powerpoint presentation. You know, one with lots of fancy charts and diagrams.

People will call you crazy. They can’t see how your decision makes any sense at all. It’s likely that their adventure is leaving them unfulfilled. They’d be more content returning it to the library and checking out a new copy. But it’s long overdue and they just don’t want to pay the fee for it, so they begrudgingly hold on to it. Who wants to get stuck with a story they don’t even like?

I’m not advocating quitting your job or dropping out of school to do what you want immediately. Take some time to gather your resources. Write out a detailed plan for yourself. Build up a strong support system. Speaking from experience, I can say that all of these things will make it infinitely easier on yourself and everyone around you.

The bottom line is (metaphorically and physically):

In life, do whatever it takes to get the good ending.

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