Every morning of every day, I choose my life.
There are many degrees to which I could mean this. As someone who certainly believes in the power of environment and chance circumstance to shape our opportunities, I do think there are "passive" choices. For example, a prisoner can only actively choose her mindset and not the broad routines of her daily life. Even her mind may be under great strain, however, if, for example, she is in solitary confinement. On the other hand, while I cannot force my mother to take medication or be a sane, balanced human, I do continue to engage with her (though sometimes I am better at that than others) and have not "coldheartedly" shut her out of my life completely. I put coldheartedly in quotes to pick out that there is a reason for this: there is a social judgment that I choose not to have passed on me, and thus, I do choose.
But mention this at all?
Because #1: I see people who resent the success of others and regret their own choices, but make no move toward altering the patterns of their lives in a way that might enable them to excel in the attainment of their desires.
Because #2: I have achieved some level of comfort, but it's a comfort with a price - "we but level that lift to pass and continue beyond." I am at a particular salary point that will permit me to pay off bills, buy a better car, put something by in savings... And yet, even amid my gratitude, it becomes painfully clear that this is not work that I can do for the rest of my life either. Among other things, maturity and adulthood means, I think, taking on greater responsibilities for making decisions, charting a course, and accepting the burden for mistakes, none of which are a significant part of my current job. Nor does work provide me with the sort of stable community I crave, even though it may suggest the illusion of that after 40+ hours a week spent in the company of the same four people.
So, who do I want to choose to be? What do I want to choose to do? What life am I crafting for myself with each day that dawns? When each moment feels inevitable, it's good to remember that it could be wildly otherwise and that what keeps it in this track is, oversimplified, my will that it should be so.