So, it’s come to my attention recently that I’m being a little irresponsibly inspiring. One of my primary reasons for starting this blog six months ago (holy crap – six months ago!!!) was that I wanted to create a place where 20- and 30-somethings could go to find inspiration, ideas and help in their quarterlife crises. I wanted to put my story out there so that others might realize that they’re not alone and that each and every one of us really has it within ourselves to live the lives we want. For me, that meant quitting my job.
But the other day, I was asked:
“Yes, but HOW?”
to which I responded, “ummm, well I just went into my boss’s office and told her (through many tears) that I just felt like I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing with my life and that I needed time to explore other options.”
To which this individual replied, “no, I mean like HOW were you able to just quit your job? What did you do for money? How did you support yourself?”
Ok. So, I guess from an outsider’s perspective I probably had it pretty easy. And yes, I’ll admit it – I’m one of the lucky ones who had a spouse who was willing (and is still willing) to support me, both financially and emotionally. I realize that not everyone has this.
But here’s the thing: we’re all going to encounter roadblocks if we decide we want to make big changes in our lives. For some of us, it will be monetary. For others, it will be a lack of emotional support. For me, I didn’t believe that I deserved to have happiness. I was hung up on living up to everyone else’s expectations of me, and perfectly petrified of not reaching those lofty heights.
So, even though I didn’t have any financial worries, you can bet yer ass I had a million-and one other fears – all of which got so tangled up in one another to the point where I kept choosing to do nothing about it, rather than attempt to address the whole mess.
But eventually something had to change. One of my favourite quotes pretty much says it all: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” (Anaïs Nin). At some point, it just got to be too much. My stress levels were so high, it seemed like everything was suffering (my health, my relationships, my work, my general state of mind – you name it). It just wasn’t worth it to try and live up to some kind of invented ideal.
Unfortunately, I don’t have an easy answer to “How.” The best I can do is ask these three questions:
• What battles are you willing to fight?
• What distances are you able to run?
• What chances are you ready to take?
If you’re ready and willing to tackle your roadblocks and make some sacrifices, it doesn’t matter what the answer is to “how”. You’ll find a way. A roadblock is only an excuse if you let it be.
Again, I know this isn’t an easy answer! So, next week, I’m planning a 2-part series that will explore some of the steps you can take (both personally and professionally) to start living the life you want and deserve – stay tuned!