Announcement everyone! I have come to an important realization in life. Here it is: women often forget that they have CHOICES in life. If you were expecting something more exciting than that, I apologize. But the truth is, sometimes this exasperates me! Time after time, I’ll talk with a girlfriend that is struggling in her life and isn’t happy. As we get further into the problem, it becomes clear what it is that she needs to change to find happiness. I’ll ask her why she can’t change her life and she will get indignant— “Isn’t it obvious that I have no other choice than to continue down my current path?”

See, that’s the problem. Sometimes we get so used to being miserable that we forget that we don’t have to continue to be miserable.

During my varied career, I’ve had jobs I loved passionately and jobs that I endured. For the record, I am very bad at enduring a job. I need to feel passionately about what I’m doing in life. When I started out, I worked in retail operations for 9 years, quickly moving up with more responsibility. I was able to grow with the company and leave my mark on almost every part of the organization. But then, something changed. I wasn’t having fun anymore. I wasn’t excited about what I was doing. Suddenly, I was exhausted all the time. I counted down the days to the weekend and dreaded Monday morning phone calls with my boss. (Used to enjoy them.) My job as a District Manager had run its course and the opportunities to move up had disappeared.

The thing is, I was stuck. I talked and talked about how I was so unhappy and complained about all the minutiae that irritated me in my job. I doubt very much that listening to me was a good time. My husband would tell me to leave my job. My friends would tell me to get another job. But I saw no options. I insisted that I needed to stay. I would get indignant when people didn’t understand why I needed to continue at my job. Didn’t they see that I had no choice here? I made good money, I had a good job, and I would never find anything that compared to this.

Really? Let me say it again. Sometimes we get so used to being miserable that we forget that we don’t have to be miserable. It becomes comfortable. We do have choices— we always have choices. Insisting that we don’t have a choice IS A CHOICE! We are making our choice, after all.

So I am asking all of you right now— are you in a situation where you are unhappy? Do you tell yourself that you don’t have a choice in the matter, and you must continue down your current path? Some of you might be thinking to yourself right now that I’m wrong— sometimes you don’t have a choice. But the truth is, we always have choices, and there are always alternatives to your situation— you just have to be creative in your problem solving and think positive. Maybe the question you really need to ask yourself is this: are you comfortable with being happy?

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