Figuring out whether or not something is truly right for you isn’t always an intuitive process.
Sometimes, the things you’re meant for will scare you. Sometimes, they’ll surprise you. Sometimes, they’ll fill you with joy, and other times, confusion.
When something is right for you — truly, completely right — you’ll experience a process of acceptance, self-awareness and ultimately, ease. Whether it’s your relationship, your job or your city, here’s how to tell you’re on the right path:
1. You’ll realize you didn’t know what was best for you.
The city you end up with may not have been one on your radar. It might not be the one you dreamt of when you were young.
The person you end up with might not be the type you thought was perfect for you. They might be the opposite of anything you ever thought you were interested in.
This happens because we often don’t predict what’s right for us as well as we realize through trial and error. Very often, we love the idea of something more than the reality, and it takes experiencing it to know what’s really good for us.
2. You’ll be forced to deal with your issues.
Everything that you’re meant for in life will not exist to absolve you of your anxiety, your worry, your fears or your baggage.
Instead, they’ll make you face those things, more than ever before. The things that you are meant for are not a means of escape. They are assets to you becoming the best version of yourself, which very often means experiencing a reckoning of sorts.
The love of your life will help you face your fears, not get so lovesick that you never have to think about them again. The work you’re meant for will challenge your insecurities. The place you’re meant for will help you see yourself more clearly, both for what’s healthy and table and what you could stand to improve.
3. You’ll realize that the “right” things happen more effortlessly than not.
“If it’s meant to be, it will be,” seems like a passive approach to life, and yet there is so much truth in it.
You’ll notice that the job you’re meant for will just sort of come to you one day. You’ll jive with the office culture, you’ll feel more motivated than you are intimidated, even if it’s out of your comfort zone.
You’ll notice that the person you’re meant for won’t play games with you. You’ll just be together — no deciphering signs, no picking apart messages, no excuses, no postponing.
You’ll recognize that you don’t have to force what’s really right for you. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to try, it means you don’t have to break yourself in order for it to happen.
4. You’ll worry — maybe more than ever before.
Do you know what happens as soon as you find something that is so undeniably right for you? You start fearing how you could lose it.
This is all part of resistance, or the fear that the happier you become, the more you risk suffering, because it could all go away one day. Instead of savoring what you have while you have it, it’s common to resort to defense mechanisms, and dwell on potential threats, and how to avoid them.
But, of course, those worries are so rarely ever founded in reality. Learn to see your worry as the opposite end of love. Know that every time you’re tense and overthinking, you’re actually just trying to protect your joy. Instead of shielding yourself from it, realize it’s there, and start feeling it.
5. You’ll dream of your sister lives.
Your “sister lives,” or all the choices you could have made, roads you could have taken, and things you could have been, will seem more obvious to you than ever. They might even seem more appealing at times, though you know they ultimately aren’t right.
When you find what’s right for you, you realize that you’re committed to it in a way — the natural response to commitment is to weigh the other options.
This doesn’t mean you’re not happy. It doesn’t mean you’re doing the wrong thing, or with the wrong person. It only means you recognize that you see this thing remaining in your life for a long, long time.
6. You’ll gradually feel more and more content.
It’s a myth that happiness is something that hits us immediately when we change our lives. That’s usually a sign of escapism.
Contentment — or real happiness — often comes steadily, and over time. It takes a while to get used to yourself and your work and your new place in life. It takes a while to adjust to a new routine and mindset. It takes time to find ease with what you’re doing and where you are.
Just because it is not instantaneous does not mean it’s not there. Contentment is something that grows when you’re on the right path, not something that diminishes with time.
7. You start to blossom.
The things that are right for you are profound not because you love them, but because they inspire you to become someone you love while you are with them.
The whole point of finding the right path is realizing that walking down it is your most prime opportunity to grow, and to become the person you really want to be.
The job that is right for you will help you become more of yourself, not less. So will the city and person and everything else.
8. You’ll realize that you were always closer than you thought.
If nothing else, the things that are right for you will make you feel more at ease. They will release some of your fears about the world, and your place in it. You’ll realize that, in retrospect, opportunities are always closer than you think they are, love is always worth it, and you’re never down and out for long.
The things that are meant for you will make you feel more reassured. They’ll bolster your confidence and your vision. They’ll help turn your life into what you want and need it to be, even if getting there takes a while. The things that are meant for you can never leave you, you can only take your time realizing that they were right in front of you all along.