[4] 29 Lessons

Follow your heart.

I will tell you this: For all my plan-making and expectation setting and detail-oriented quirks, I am still a bit of a feeler. There's a certain logic to my madness, and in some ways, I function like a rational person; but despite my best efforts, I'm pretty apt to go with my gut on things. I'm not sure what it's like to not naturally be this way and try to be. I do know what it's like to be this way and try not to be. Maybe it's too hard to fight your nature. Yet I still say: It's important to learn to follow your heart. 

And here is why. It's simple really. "The heart wants what the heart wants." You can sit around and question and analyze and write pro/con lists, but I guarantee you, more often than not, after all that obsessive work is done, your decision will likely still closely reflect your initial thought. I'm a firm believer that God gives us instincts for a reason; and sure, some of us are more discerning than others. But what you feel instantly, without thought--that's what you want. What you feel after you've consulted that back corners of your mind and old journals and text conversations with every friend you have? That's what you want tainted with the thoughts and opinions of others.

Wise counsel is a must in life. I'm grateful to have people who have poured wisdom into my life, freely, and with true care for the condition of my heart and how my life turns out. But you want to know what those incredibly wise people generally asked me when I was facing crossroads? "What do you think?"

There have been times I have trusted the voice in my heart instead of logic. And I have never regretted the decisions made in the fast moments where I just go with what I feel. For example? I decided to study in London in the course of five minutes. It is still one of the most meaningful adventures I've had to date. And my marriage? Well, when I graduated college and could have gone anywhere, my heart was telling me that a boy I'd only been dating for four or five months was worth sticking around for. I knew, I just knew, that he was for me. And here we are. Becoming a stay-at-home mother, I think, saved my life in so many instances. That decision blurted out of me one day in the office before I even realized it was coming out of my mouth. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Also, there have been times when my heart has been misguided. Often I find my heart unable to let go of something and so I keep after it and keep after it until the end comes anyway, and I'm hurt. What then? Should I not have followed my heart then? As much as it pains me, I argue no. No amount of logic would have convinced me to act differently in the moment anyway; and besides, better to have failed knowing that I tried my absolute hardest. It leaves for fewer questions of "what if" plaguing my brain in time to come. 

The most funny part of this whole lesson, to me, is that it seems rather youthful. Like, by 30, I ought to have learned to make smart choices rather than going with a "feeling." But I think that learning to listen to those feelings is a certain kind of maturation. It's like I have come to know myself and trust myself. My heart speaks, and even if logic argues, I can't help but to listen.