Make Peace With the Life You Did Not Get

Make peace with the life you did not get so that you can make way for the life that can be yours to find its way to you. Recently, I was watching “Devious Maids”, one of the guilty pleasures on Lifetime TV. One of the characters, Zoila, is a maid, and she feels that all she can be is a maid because she cannot accept a scholarship and go to college. She does not want her daughter to be a maid, and rightly so. However, the daughter wants to pay her way to College rather than depend on her mother and father. Zoila’s mother is adamant and does everything to make sure her daughter doesn’t make the same mistake she did, even trying to get her fired from her maid job. Now, the moral here is not that Zoila wanted better for her daughter. It is a fact that Zoila never got over not being able to go to College and pursue her dreams, so she accepted a life of “demeaning servitude” because she thought that was all she was suitable for.

How many of us are still upset about a life we did not get? I will be the first one to raise my hand. I never got to go to a prestigious University. To this day, I still regret not being accepted to Fordham University, which was my first choice College. There are days when I wonder what my life would have been like if I had gone to Fordham University. I do know for a fact that my life would have been different. I loved everything about Fordham U. Its prestige, alum program, special programs for High School students, and programs I took part in. I even won an Internship of the Year Award. I interned at some of the best Companies. My life was on the right path. Although I had the grades, I was not accepted for reasons beyond my control. Instead, I was taken to another University, and while that was a private University, it was still not Fordham. I planned to spend two years at that University, get better grades, and transfer to Fordham University. Yes, I was that obsessed with attending Fordham University. However, life did not work out that way. I made do with the University I was accepted to.


It was not until I watched that episode of Devious Maid that it hit me. I never made peace with being unable to attend Fordham University or even Fordham Law. Recent circumstances made me realize how much resentment I had for not attending a prestigious University. School and education were my identities. Since I never got to go to Fordham U. for my Bachelor’s degree, I decided to apply to Fordham Law and combine the prestige of becoming a Lawyer with the importance of attending Fordham Law, a Tier 1 Law School. I had to get my J.D.,n my LL.M. (Master of Law), and my LL.D (Doctorate of Law). But that did not happen. Well, that part was on me.

I realized that I did not want to go to Law School. Oh, the horror of horrors. My family was appalled. They thought I had no direction and I was wasting my life. I still have an aunt who asks if I will reconsider my decision not to go to Law School. I had to restore my family’s honor and do something prestigious with my life. It would help if I went to Oxford or Cambridge University. I have even encouraged my nephew to use his grades to apply to Oxford or Cambridge. I want him to make something of his life and get the opportunities I never got. I hope he forgives me for putting that on him.

Even though the decision not to go to Law School was mine, I still spent the next ten years resenting my life. I would have had a better life if I got specific opportunities. Yes, that was how deeply obsessed and meshed my identity was with the “right schools”, the “meeting the right people”, marrying “up,” and living the “right affluent lifestyle”. To fuel the fire, I sacrificed my life for “family,” which did not turn out well. It blew up in my face—more pain and resentment.

Yes, I have done many things that brought me happiness, but that was fleeting. I have spent many years resenting my life and where it ended. As a result, things came into my life to help me feel worse about that life. Throughout all that, I learned something significant. No matter how much we may love our surface life, it will be quick if, beneath all that, we are filled with resentment for life we felt we had missed out on.

One of the things that I have learned about our life is that if we are not okay with where our life is, it is easy for others to make us feel bad about our station in life. However, if we are okay with who we are and where we are, no one can make us feel ashamed and guilty for what they did not achieve by their standards. That is why we must have our life standards and make peace with who, what, and where we are. We do not require approval from anyone outside of us to do things differently for our lives. If we do not like where we are, then we can take steps to change course.

If you were to look at who you are now and then look back at the life you thought you missed out on, ask yourself, are those things important to me today? Do I want that life? Do I still feel like that 22yr old? Chances are that life is no longer necessary to you. There is far more to life than having the right contacts, network, and exemplary life. Those things were no longer essential to me, but I never made peace with all that. I just went about life continuously burying my hopes and dreams and finding other things to make me happy.

Deep down, I was not happy at all. I felt I had no ambition because I did not want to pursue Law or any other higher degree. However, that was just the criticism of others creeping into my ears and damaging my brain. I started criticizing and putting myself down in the same manner. I felt as if I did not turn out into anything good. I began to believe the criticisms that I had no direction even though the previous trend toward Law School, Master, and Doctorate was not making me happy.

There is far more to life. Happiness is far more important than getting into the right schools and making connections. Do the things you love. If people think you have no direction, that is not your issue. We all deserve to live a life that makes us happy, contented, and filled with love and joy. Not some energy that creates misery for us. If wanting to be satisfied and filled with passion, love, and pleasure causes me to lack direction, then so be it. At least I am creating my happiness and my passionate life. I do not need to live my life in a way to gain approval from others.

I have learned that I am my person and I decide where I want to go and if others are unhappy. I am not a child,d and I I moved out of my parent’s home 18 years ago, so I do not need permission to live my life. No one should try to force someone else to live in misery so that they can be seen as having direction. Matter-of-fact, coming from a very strict and structured childhood, I am so happy that I can throw caution to the wind and live my life in freedom WITHOUT direction. I love where my life takes me; sometimes, I’m pleasantly surprised, while I choose that direction other times. I love living life from the seat of my pants or shorts or from the deck of a long pier with my legs hanging off in the beautiful Atlantic Ocean or the clear blue-green Caribbean Sea.

For a long time, I was unable to laugh and enjoy myself. I was punishing myself for not having direction and feeling guilty too. That only caused me to be more upset because I believed other people were right and I was wrong where my life was concerned. Please do not make the same mistake that I did. How you live your life for yourself is not bad as long as it makes you happy. Do not sacrifice your happiness to give others the impression that you have direction. You are not placed here on earth to please others at your expense.

Dance to the rhythm of your life and move to the beat of your drums. Live life passionately and enthusiastically. Life is way too precious to spend it living in a shell. No one should live life not getting the chance to live out their dreams. That is why, as much as I do regret not attending a prestigious Law University, I would not in a million years trade my life for that life.

We must make peace with the life we did not get to make way for the life that can be ours to find its way to us. There is a purpose for everything we did not get and for what we did. Life has a way of surprising us wonderfully. Life is always a win/win. The school was one path I walked, and when it no longer served a purpose in my life, another approach was cleared for me to walk. The life we think we missed out on was not life for us. Something bigger and better was and is in store for us.

Every path that I have walked has brought about numerous blessings. I may not have gone to Law School, but I have gained other wonderful opportunities in my life. I can bet you any money that if I had become a Partner in a Law Firm and I would have, I would never have been able to go to Brazil and the Amazon anytime I wanted to. I would not have been able to live freely the way I have been doing for the past several years. Anything I do has to accommodate my going to Brazil at the drop of a hat. Otherwise, it’s a no-can-do.

So although I may lack direction conventionally and traditionally, in my wonderful right-brain world, I have all the misdirections that make me passionately happy and help me to discover and create new passions every day. Why would I live miserably without direction when I can live passionately, passionately, and content with no guide?

Tyson Houlding
I’m a lifestyle blogger with a passion for writing, photography, and exploring new places. I started this blog when I was 18 years old to share what I was learning about the world with family and friends. I’ve since grown into a freelance writer, blogger, and photographer with a growing audience. I hope you find inspiration and motivation while reading through my work!