“I didn’t sign on for this,” goes the sometimes humorous response of people who find themselves in a situation they’d rather not be in and didn’t expect. “Sure I said ‘in sickness and in health,’ but I never imagined my wife would become a gambling addict.” “I didn’t think my husband would lose his six figure job and we’d be getting a second mortgage to put food on the table.” “I didn’t know this job would require such long hours.” “I didn’t think this class would require so much work…I didn’t sign on for this.”
So, what do you do when you reach that point where you are thinking, “I didn’t sign on for this”? We make a lot of assumptions about what life will entail, what will come our way. But then we are dealt a hand we didn’t see coming. We make open-ended promises or commitments, yet we usually have unstated expectations. Suddenly we are presented with challenges we did not anticipate. We doubt we can handle them, or maybe we just don’t want to put forth the effort.
Life is beautiful and sweet, magical and wondrous. But it is can also be difficult, harder than you thought it would be, maybe harder than you think it should be. It is challenging, humbling, and demanding of sacrifice. “I didn’t expect this. “ “I didn’t know this was part of the deal.” Maybe that’s a good thing. Sometimes our naiveté works for the betterment of life. Sometimes life must trick us into doing what’s good for us. If you had known ahead of time all that certain commitments or adventures would entail, you might not have agreed to them, and so you would have missed an opportunity to achieve more of your true potential or attain more of your full stature.
Some goals, relationships, or careers are ill-chosen–a poor fit–and need to be let go of. But other times when we have the thought, “I didn’t sign on for this” we know in our heart we must still do it. It doesn’t feel right to leave, to close up shop and move on. This is because a part of you knows that although you may not have signed up for this, your soul did. You’ve been drafted by the universe for a particular assignment or mission, and you need to see it through. Let it teach you what you need to learn and take you where you need to be.
Copyright © Andy Drymalski, Ed.D.
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