Why You Need to Blow Your Life Up to Be Able to Put It Back Together How You Want
How many years in a row have you set a resolution and never followed through with it? That's been me since the world was ending from Y2K. But a week before the ball dropped in January I made a promise to myself that had to come to fruition: my 27th year will not be a repeat of the same mundaneness from the past couple years. The truth is I have enough crazy stories for someone to ask, "mundane? Really?!" But, for me, everything was starting to feel very stagnant.
I was in a relationship for nearly eight years that should have already moved on to the next level, I was in a job that in theory I loved but just wasn't meshing, my hobbies and passions were falling to the wayside and something just didn't feel right. I didn't feel inspired about things; I felt constantly drained.
Crossing the Sunshine Skyway Bridge with tears in my eyes, I told my boyfriend that something needed to change by my birthday (June 29) or I was moving out July 1. Looking back, I think I was so emotional at that point because I subconsciously knew major changes were coming. Kind of like when I cried driving to university as a fresh 18-year-old because I knew my life would never be the same from that moment. As soon as I closed the car door (in both scenarios) I was closing a chapter of life.
Flash forward about a month and I met someone with sage advice presented with an accent (which sometimes makes it sound even better and more inspiring): you have to blow your life up into pieces to be able to put it back together how you want. In a quarter-life-crisis situation like I was enduring, little changes just wouldn't work. I needed a big BOOM.
And so began the dominoes effect that led to me curating a new life.
First, find a new job. Application after application and interview after interview, I finally heard those magical words: we would like to offer you the position. Jackpot! It honestly couldn't have been a better move for my career at the moment.
With the peace of mind of a new salary, next came the apartment hunting. After a short search, I found an apartment that was good for me and my new solo adventures. But now came the hard part of acknowledging my life blow up and telling my boyfriend. The day I signed my new lease and paid the deposit I was driving with him home from work (again, why do all these conversations keep happening in a car?!) and couldn't figure out how to get the words out. As he reached to grab my hand, I pulled away and offered my pinky instead (something we now joke about) and quietly said the words "I put a deposit down" under my breath and into my shoulder. Once again, the tears. I don't think he understood the magnitude of what that statement meant, but I did, and it was another realization that my life would be majorly changing from this moment forward.
So now I've quit my job, quit my cohabiting apartment and quit my relationship all within a matter of a week or two. Although, I prefer to think of it as quitting the title because he'll always have some form of a relationship in my life. The only other factor that could have been even more of a blow up was if I quit my city. But don't think I didn't put feelers out for San Diego, NYC and Boston -- the possibility was close.
Because I like to do things all or nothing, I thought ‘why not add some more craziness to the mix’ and that same week I bought a ticket to go ride elephants in Thailand. Because why not? I've got a bucket list that's been neglected for a bit and could use some attention.
With all of these pieces of my life floating up in the air, it would have been enough to give someone a nervous breakdown. The reality: I haven't been happier or more carefree in ages. I almost feel guilty about how well I'm doing when people ask me.
And the reason I was able to do all of this? Courage. It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are (shout out to e.e. cummings). Choosing to restart and curate my life based on my definitions and my desires has been one of, if not the most courageous things in my life thus far. I could have easily continued on with my life as is, settling into something decent. But I was never made for decent; I was made for big adventures.
I’ve tried to find the words to describe what it feels like to let go, but you just have to experience it for yourself. I honestly hope that one day you get there. Get to the point where you can let. It. All. Go. Let go of the life you thought you had planned, let go of the expectations others have for you, let go of the boundaries you set for yourself, let go of the idea of a perfect life, just let it go and be mindful of now and what you can change now. You will be amazed at how many wonderful things start to fall into place when you give up control, stop replaying the past and worrying about the future.
I’m normally not one to share the details of my personal life with many people, but lately I feel like there are so many others around me and elsewhere wanting to change but are lacking the courage. If I can be a source of inspiration to even one other person, then that’s enough to put a smile on my face.
So, go now. Start blowing shit up (Figuratively. Let’s not get arrested.) and make your life courageously awesome. It’s never too late to start. My pay-it-forward gift to you is the push of your first domino…