Most of reality doesn't matter, but a few things -- in this case choices -- matter a huge amount. In other words, there is a very small number of choices that will determine the great majority of results.
And so it is: I am officially 30 years young. Yes, I use the word young instead of old, contrary to my previous belief that once I turned the big 3-0, life as I had known it prior to this milestone would never be the same again. Period.
You may never become a programmer, but I hope you choose to give it a shot. If you decide at some point it's not for you, choose to try something else. Repeat the cycle until you find your passion. Choose to pursue it. Make time for it.
Get uneasy, get scared, become a beginner again. You will learn something new about yourself, not only about your character, but what turns on your light. Once you've found something that turns on your light, you've found purpose.
I cannot point to one thing and say, "It is that right there that brings me effortless joy!" any more than I can say, "Oh, the sky starts right over here." It is these series of breaths we take and the beautiful things that happen in between them that provide weight to our existence.
The truest thing I can figure out is that attaining and maintaining happiness has a lot less to do with making the correct choices, and more to do with cultivating an ability to weather change with all the courage, humility, curiosity and amusement we can muster.
This was the reality of the situation. This was the truth of the here and now. I couldn't be with him out there on the dance floor, so I had to reframe the situation and enjoy the experience in a completely different way.
The lower cost of living here meant they could make career choices that were less based on salary considerations, and the smaller range of choices in everything from preschools to restaurants meant they'd be less compelled to reach for things that would end up making their lives harder.
Whatever it is, you have two choices: Live with it and continue to be unhappy or take a good, serious look at yourself in the mirror. The key word here is mirror. We can't see our blemishes until we have a mirror to reflect them back at us.
Think about a current situation in your life in which you're contemplating a big decision. Here is how to avoid second-guessing or regrets to feel best about your decision, as well as to master the decision-making process itself.
The simple truth is that happiness is not found in having all the love, security and recognition you can possibly have. It is found by balancing those three ideals based on who you are, based on your own needs.
Each moment, life places us on the crest of a powerful wave -- we can either deny our capacity to choose, or we can wholeheartedly embrace it. Blue pill or red pill, decay or evolution, these opposing forces are at endless play.