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why have I led myself astray?

because at 22 I became a published writer instead of an English teacher. because I have tattoos and photographs and memories and a bucket list to mark my journey instead of steady promotions. I have worked since I’m 13 years old and I’ve worked in enough cubicles and industries to not settle for money that doesn’t equal to the efforts I’m putting in. I have enough passions to pursue, things I love and things I’m good at, rather than acquiring things that have no impact on my life and myself. because I’m an artist who appreciates life and beauty, and not a slave to the system.

why have I led myself astray?

because I’m 26 and I’m not married with 14 kids already. I’ve had enough long term relationships go wrong or not in the chosen direction to be content they became exboyfriends and not ex-husbands. because I can be in love and be happy, or be in a relationship and be happy, and not have that hour glass most people die by. because I can be with someone and give them myself completely, and appreciate them, and help them, and worry about them because I care, and try to make their life better because they make mine more beautiful, and love them every night, and kiss them with breakfast every morning, and take an interest in what matters to him because he matters to me, and not need a ring to do that.

why have I led myself astray?

because I’m struggling and stressed and ambitious enough to try different things instead of live the same repetitive cycle. because I’m aware that life has limits and unforeseen time stamps so I want to make everyday count and live a life I’m proud of. because I have a heart that I live by, a heart I commit to- despite the cold, distrustful, bitter beings that shadow the earth. because I get rejected and hit rock bottom but keep pursuing the same damn dream because it’s my purpose and my destiny.

why have I led myself astray?

because I live in a way you’re not accustomed to, because people should sweat and bleed in a job they hate making money to save for something that could or could not happen in the future, because I’m responsible but not to your standards, because you don’t understand me.

the truth is, you don’t know me. you know you and I’m not you.

if I did indeed lead myself astray, I’ll find my way. I always do. but I don’t think I did. I think the truth of the matter is people claim you lost your way when their eyes, hearts, and minds are not big enough to have your vision, drive, imagination, and love.

instead of asking why I led myself astray because my life and outlook are so different. ask yourself why you haven’t moved. why you’re so disturbed by the way I live my life, so curious about my winded roads, so inclined to be judgmental that you’ll never really know me.

-Allison Ryder