Detours

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Me wearing athletic sneakers = the apocalypse is nigh (they Reeboks tho)

So, maybe I’m having a nostalgia moment and listening to Teenage Dream by Katy Perry on a Monday night while I cook dinner. Maybe. It’s been a crazy week.

Without going into too much detail, my brother-in-law-to-be had a pancreas transplant last week. Obviously all surgeries are hard on the patient (and the patient’s loved ones), but this is an auspicious surprise. He has suffered from diabetes for almost 30 years, and now he gets a new lease on life. It’s truly amazing, and I am privileged to know someone who epitomizes survival. Seeing a family member go through such life-altering (and potentially life-threatening) procedure really puts things into perspective. Every day is precious, and should be approached as such.

The lesson I’m taking from this is to chase my own happiness. If I want to listen to a 5-year-old Katy Perry album and drink a hard cider instead of doing homework, that’s my prerogative. I will allot time for my responsibilities, and maintain my work ethic, of course. But when I look back on the past few years, some of my best and most cherished memories are spontaneous moments. Detours.

Detours are inconvenient, to be sure, but they allow you to reach the exact same destination. The past 5 years of my life have been a giant detour. I should have graduated from college in 2013. But if I hadn’t made the mistakes I’d made, and strayed from my path, I may never have met the love of my life and his incredible family. If I hadn’t dropped out of private school, I may never have discovered my passion for whole foods and cooking. If I hadn’t left a stable job that made me unhappy, I may never have ended up in retail/fashion.

Some of us stay on the straight & narrow our whole lives. Some of us are late bloomers. I’d argue that neither approach is “better”. Because we all arrive at the same destination: happiness.

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