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Got your life path sorted, hey? Here’s why you should be open to other ideas.


Got your life path sorted, hey? Here’s why you should be open to other ideas.

Penny Younger

When talking to others as to why I wanted to go overseas, one thing I’d always said is that I wanted to dance in the streets of foreign countries, listening to languages I don’t understand and using maps I don’t know how to read.

Since coming home, I’ve reflected on why I felt so ready to move back to Australia.

I’ve come to realise that I was ready because I did it.

I have been dancing – for 2 years.

Sometimes to a great melody, other times to a beat I couldn’t quite follow.

But I was always moving and expanding.

I wasn’t always this way though, when I left home to travel, I’m happy to admit I was pretty narrow minded.

I travelled after a break up and as much as I hate to admit it, I used to scoff at people taking a different path to mine, mostly people in love.

I wanted to want that too, it would have made life so much easier at the time.

But I didn’t want that, I wanted to be on my own and to travel.

When I was in the company of my friends in serious relationships, I probably used to act as if travelling in your early twenties was the be all and end all, and anyone who didn’t want to do that, was missing something.

Turns out, I was the one missing something.

I thought my way was the answer; to what exactly I don’t know.

But now I realise, my way was never the ‘right’ way, there is no right way, and that’s what I was missing.

I followed the path right for me and therefore lived my right way – however those at home I used to judge for having a stable job and a white picket fence, were possibly some of my biggest teachers. They taught me what another version of a ‘right way’ looked like, because that was true for them.

As it turns out, we all have different ideas as to how we want to live, what we want it to look like and how far we’re willing to stretch.

In some cases, going to a new town in your home state might be a much bigger stretch for one person, than for another travelling to a new country.

We all have different comfort zones.

Now that I can witness my own arrogance, in judging those living differently to me, and can also see how truly invaluable it has been following a path true for me when no one from home joined me, I am ready to come home.

I am ready because I now understand what it is to live your life the best way you know how, and to remember that others are doing the same even if it doesn’t match your idea of how that should look.

To judge them for that, is arrogant. I’m totally guilty of that. However, I was newly single, completely lost and heartbroken and a lot of people close to me were in beautiful, long term relationships. So to cover my frustration of desperately wanting to want that too; I deemed them ‘boring.’

God I’m cringing even thinking back to that.

I had so much to learn, and parts of myself to grow out of and parts to grow into, which is what life is; a constant shedding of old and discovering of new.

At the time, I had a lot to learn about acceptance and compassion.

I needed to get to a place within myself where I could be open minded enough to know that there is no right way to live, and that those living their lives differently to me were just as valid in their way of life as I was in mine.

But for a long time I judged them, because it wasn’t what I wanted, and I was frustrated that that was filling them up, and it wasn’t filling me up.

I desperately wanted to be like that too, to fit in, and not be so different in the direction my life was taking in comparison to everyone else at the time.

In a way, I was envious of them, for being so content in their lives. When I was so unsettled in mine.

So I got on a plane, because I wanted to be dirty and broke and inspired – to find what I was looking for, while earning the Euro.

Despite what I thought, a life overseas is no better than a life lived in a stable job at home. As long as both are lived with passion and purpose, they are both equally as beautiful.

There is no right or wrong.

I’ve found that this is what makes the world go round.

I needed to come to this realisation on my own before coming home, and I know it’s why I’ve been overseas as long as I have.

I needed to see how other people live, from all walks of life, to know that it’s not about looking at the person running in the lane beside you.

You need to look ahead, run your own race and cheer the next person on for running theirs.

Through following what was right for me, running the race my way, I have such a sense of self now and such a sense of what I want my life to look like, and the confidence to know that I can create it.

I didn’t have this before.

Funnily enough, now that I have a sense of peace in my own life, I don’t get irritated by the way other people are living theirs; because I’m no longer measuring my happiness against theirs, or judging their choices; I’m finally at peace with mine.

I’ve learnt that life is based around experiences you’ve touched with your own two hands and on human connections, especially the people that challenge you; forcing you to look at within yourself.

If you're willing to do this, it will be your biggest teacher, which is why I say that my closest friends who were all in long term relationships at the age of 20, were mine.

I used to think I was odd at home, like I didn’t quite fit in because of what I wanted my life to look like, but now I look around and realise I’m not that different from anyone I meet.

In fact, I often see glimpses of myself in others who, on the outside, are totally different to me. But in those moments, it’s so apparent to me how united we all are.

We are all connected and searching; for whatever it is we are in pursuit of.

It’s important not to judge what that is for someone else, and instead just focus on what’s in front of you.

I’m now excited to experience life from my home soil and I look forward to witnessing what that is for others’ around me – leaving judgement at the front door.