The Third Something

081 / Do It On Purpose

Did I actually choose the life I’m living? Some thoughts on intentional living, with help from Dolly Parton.

A photo of pencil shavings in a pencil sharpener

I’ve spent a lot of this past week thinking about choices.

It strikes me that many of us find ourselves on a path in life and at some point become aware that we never chose to be here.

This is equally true for good paths as well as bad ones.

You get offered a job and it’s the perfect fit for the moment and as time goes on you have no reason to leave and so four years later you’re still there and you think to yourself ‘hang on, did I actually choose this?’

People alive today have more agency than any generation before us (plus the encouragement to live life on our own terms) but it seems it’s still easy to sleepwalk onto a path we didn’t choose.

There’s a lot to be said for going with the flow, especially if it feels right.

But I also wonder if there’s a power in making those choices. After all, no path is pain-free, every life has its ups and downs.

Living in Paris could be a drag sometimes, but even on the hard days I could always say to myself: ‘it’s OK, I chose this.’

It should be said that having choices at all is a privilege not everyone gets to enjoy. And this year, when so many of us have surrendered our freedom to help others, we’re all having to learn to let life happen to us for a while.

But maybe Dolly Parton put it best when she said: “Find out who you are, and then do it on purpose.”

Until another Sunday soon,

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