We tend to see life as happening to us and point to the moments when we made free will conscious choices to go right or left or straight on to sunrise as few and far between, as life markers that show where we changed course.  We dream of the day when we can make the life we want and deserve to have and wait for our ship to come in and sweep us away or for the fairy godmother to wave her wand and strip away the mundane so we can live happily ever after.

The reality is that our life is an ongoing art project and we are the artist.  Even in childhood we have some ability to sort and sift from our experiences to decide what we will use to form our identities and what we will ignore.  Hence two people can experience the same event at the same age and come up with two different definitions of what it means for and about them.  As adults we are fully capable of crafting the life we want to have. This isn’t about magical thinking or everyone would win the lottery every day.  I’m talking about recognizing that we choose where we live, with whom, what job we take, how long we stay in it, what fields we work in, whether we train for something or not, whether we do something or not.

We choose whether to learn to be a runner or to draw comics, whether to become proficient at darts or to become a Veterinarian, whether to go into the military or to stay home and raise the kids. It’s not just about what options are in front of us.  For most of us we automatically discount 95% of all options because we don’t want to change our identities or acknowledge that we can be more than we are.  Even when our options are limited we can make beauty out of them.  Our life is an art project we are constantly creating.  It can be a paint by numbers sea of beige or it can be all the ugliest colors that are left over from everyone else, it can be jagged reds and light absorbing black or it can be a masterpiece of lights and shadows or an impressionistic portrait. It can be whatever you want and you can change what it is in this very moment.