I recently met two really cool people, Varuna and Dhrumil.
Varuna is a young, hip college-aged woman from Thailand. She goes to school in NYC where she studies jewelry design. But I ran in to her in Providence while she was there to take an ESL test required for the Masters program she’s applying to in California. Through broken-English, Varuna said she misses her family but left everything that was familiar to her, to pursue her dream of becoming a master jewelry designer.
Dhrumil is a sharp, young professional man from India. Dhrumil explained how he lives in Washington, DC two weeks a month and travels to the town I live in, in Connecticut, the other two weeks of the month to be with his wife and new baby. Dhrumil’s wife is up for a promotion in a career she loves in Connecticut, so they made the decision to live apart two weeks every month so she could advance in her career. Though it was very hard for he and his wife to live apart for two weeks, that he especially missed his new baby, Dhrumil said they were very clear in the decision they made, to support each other’s goals.
I was so inspired when Varuna and Dhrumil each shared their stories with me. Actually, I felt more than just inspired, I felt connected … and fired-up!
Varuna’s and Dhrumils’ stories make me feel connected and fired-up because I know what its like to make a choice that others don’t understand.
Like when I started seeing a Naturopathic doctor to help me get answers to my health problems.
Like when I quit my job to go back to school full-time at Mount Holyoke College.
Like when I left a secure career track to build a business I know matters.
In all three cases, my family didn’t understand my decisions, my friends questioned my reasoning, so neither knew how to encourage or support me, but I still pursued what I felt best for me, like Varuna, Dhrumil and Dhrumil’s wife.
I learned that, “I’ve got to do, what I’ve got to do,” no matter if others understand, or not.
Their stories came back to me when Monica, a participant in my 10 Years Younger in 6 Weeks Program, said to me, “Carol, my friends and family don’t approve of the way I am eating. They call me a hippie and bohemian, but I’ve never felt better.”
My response came loaded with memory, experience and inspiration from my life, and from many like Varuna and Dhrumil. I confidently said, “Don’t worry, Monica, they’ll come around. They love you, but you’ve got to do what is best for you. You’ve got to choose healthy for you.”
Many years back when at Disney World in Florida with my son, I bought a framed picture-quote that ‘talked to me’ over the years like a drum beating silently in the background, “Choice, not chance, determines destiny.”
No matter if it’s leaving our home for a foreign land, defying social definitions of what others deem acceptable, or simply choosing healthy foods that make us look and feel amazing, yet challenge our families’ traditions, we must choose what calls to us.
What are you doing that you know is right for you, but isn’t understood by others? I’d love to hear your experience in the comments below.