Be what you decide to be

This post may sound a little ‘self help’ and preachy, but my parents just sent me the most incredibly thoughtful greeting card, and it got me thinking. On the front is a little yellow bird, sitting on top of a teapot, with one of the best quotes I’ve ever read beneath it:

‘The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson


I’ve spent most of my life having no idea who I want to be. I remember being asked this question in grade 2 at primary school, and couldn’t believe at the time we were being asked to make such a formative decision. It seemed so final. But my parents aren’t even here to consult with, I thought, as I fretted watching my classmates scribbling away with their coloured pencils and crayons. I felt paralysed, with my entire future dangling before me, dependant on this finite decision.

I think this fear of commitment has continued to plague me. What if I get locked into this one thing forever?  is a common concern of mine. I realised the other day that I’m not satisfied with living just one life. I want to see, be, and experience everything the world has to offer. That’s why I’m constantly jumping around, taking part in one lifestyle, before following another dream and moving onto the next.

But am I lacking substance? Am I missing out on the experiences and relationships that take time to create?

I want to find out, which is why I’ve decided to stay put for a while. I finally knew where I wanted to be so I moved here. I knew exactly what sort of house I was looking for, and the kind of people I wanted to live with, so I found them. I knew the job and the exact store I hoped to work at, so I start tomorrow. Did I manifest it, or did I just work hard to get it? Should we expect things to happen just because we want them to, because we decide they should? I don’t think so. But if you work towards what you want to happen or who you want to be, it’s got a much greater chance of happening.

Back in that classroom in grade 2, I decided I wanted to be a magician. Not a bad choice at the time, without the modern day considerations of work/life balance, financial constraints, career progression, working conditions, holidays and sick leave, pensions or health insurance. Maybe we should be making these decisions when we’re 7 years old, before our minds get clouded and jumbled with too many conflicting ideas.

So what did the 32-year-old Rozanne decide she wanted to be? An active person sharing her passion for the outdoors, while living in the most beautiful city in the world.

Sure I’m earning minimum wage working part-time in the third most expensive city on earth. But like the 7-year-old me, I’m not thinking about my future career path. It’s what I want to do now, and unlike that paralysed schoolgirl in grade 2, I’m no longer scared of my future decisions being forever. If you can’t be the person you decide to be today, then who are you destined to become?

19 thoughts on “Be what you decide to be”

  1. Ah, love that!!! Such a great quote, and a great post!
    It’s a thing I struggle with heavily – I want to experience too many lives, including things that need quite some time too accomplish (like a PhD, for example), and even contradictory lives (children – no children). But still, there is no point in thinking it over and over and over again, and waiting for that point at which you are sure what the right decision is – you have to keep going, or else you will get nowhere. And if it’s not the right “forever-choice”, then there is almost always the possibility to change.
    I hope you have a great first day at your new job tomorrow!!

    1. Wise words as always Fine! I know that when I put a thought out there, I will always get much better advice in return. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. It’s given me even more to think about! 🙂

  2. I think Emerson was telling us that there is no predestiny, We have the choice to be what we want to be. Also no one else to blame for our choices. I went into my career path, Architecture, because Of many things, some being talents, some just persistence, but most of all FEAR, of not knowing what I wanted to do, and thinking everyone else seemed to just know. I wanted to do everything, but chose a single path. The path was wonderful, but it was just one path. Now with the inspiration from many including you Rozanne, I’m going to retire basically at my peak (in my prime for Arch’ts, being typically late bloomers). I’m going down a new path, the PCT. With months on the trail to clear my mind from my present deep rutted safe path of money/career/stability. When I return I suspect I will create a new path. I don’t know what, and I no longer FEAR not knowing. I want to, need to, embrace the unknown.
    I have run on, sorry, you hit a nerve with your topic. I will end by saying I respect, and am in awe of the way you are actively seeking a meaning, a path of your call your own without the fear to say I don’t know what it may be.

    1. Gromit thank you so much for sharing your story!! I’m so excited for your new path of adventure and your willingness to embrace the unknown. Your comment made me think about this clip that my friend Leigh sent me a long time ago. If you haven’t already seen it, you must watch it! Wishing you every happiness on your trails ahead!

      1. Thanks so much! I enjoyed the video is so true, and no I hadn’t see it. We are all programmed by the society around us. Not just our culture but all cultures. It’s how cultures reproduce themselves through the generations, just like any species of life. It is done without the virtue of intelligent thought. It is just propagation. You are fighting that, and saying maybe there is something better, or maybe just better suited to you. You are a seeker Rozanne, I can’t think of anything more justifiably human to be in life. Me, I sorta caved early to societies pressures, even though I recognized and understood the machinery behind the screen early. I never quite jelled in the mold and am ready to step out and pursue different paths.
        At age 12 I told my parents I wanted to be a philosopher (wasn’t your normal kid). They shipped me to my grandparents ranch in Oregon to be a cowboy every summer to beat that nonsense out of my head. Didn’t work. Gods, I think I better start my own blog page…because I just want to go on and on…
        Oh I just sent an Australian girl “Jordan Reynolds” looking for info ( PCT FB group) on PCT costs and planning your way. Hope that’s ok.
        Again thank you for the video link. It really was spot on…and sent me into this mental flurry. I’ll go out walking to let my thoughts roam a bit.

      2. Gromit I think you should write! Before I started blogging I felt this volcano of energy inside me that I had no idea what to do with. Every time I feel that volcano erupting now, I write something, and it helps to drain all that hot lava out of my heart and mind. Walking has a similar effect, so the combination of both is good for the soul! Thank you for sharing your experiences. What we don’t learn in school, we need to learn from one another!

  3. I love this post! I wanted to be an astronaut, president, or an actress. I could never make up my mind. But one thing I knew for sure was I wanted to be a mom. That goal I met 😉

  4. Mutti knows how to choose a good card. Happy its been a catalyst for your thoughts and for others. You’re doing great and clearly making well considered choices and making a fine coterie of like-minded followers.

  5. So where did you find all these perfect things to help settle you down?
    Reading your post had me thinking along those same thoughts… And I’m 65 and not settled…haha
    I find when I try to settle I’m not really happy….hummm
    And now I’m trying to buy a home…that’s stressful.
    Enjoy your new journey . I look forward to reading about it.

    1. Settle is such a terrible word isn’t it? Similar to permanent. I hate to use either. It’s comforting to know you’ve spent so many years enjoying being unsettled. There’s pros and cons to both. Good luck with the house purchase and thanks for following!!

    1. Day 11 fantastic!! Are you up past Warner Springs somewhere? I’m so happy to hear I could play a small part in you being there. I’m so excited for you!! Happy hiking and enjoy that magical trail!!

      1. I love that town!!! No doubt you’ve had an amazing breakfast at the Red Kettle (I think it’s called!!) Enjoy!!

  6. Very nice topic, attitude and decision. I love and respect people who have target it this life and want to reach it, but as a replay on what u said ” im not thinking about my future career path” i think we have to take care of things u mentioned above while choosing our way ( work/life balance, financial constraints, health insurance and life style) don’t u think so!!??

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