My life before this year was far from conscious and intentional. I went through the motions for years- just like so many others. I followed all the “rules” society set for me. Happiness should have followed…or so I thought.
The problem was that I pursued all the goals the world set for me and designed a life without depth. I never stopped to ask myself what I truly wanted or who I wanted to be. I just did what everyone around me told me I should do. Work here. Study this. Date this type of person, etc. Many people do this. How many times have we heard someone complain about how much they wish they could just quit their job, end their unstable relationship, or something else and run off to an island somewhere?
Well guess what? I did.
Here’s how it happened.
After years of pursuing perfection -American society’s version, that is- I achieved it. I met all the “criteria”- perfect job, great apartment, perfected appearance, high profile invites, new car, corporate cards and expense accounts. From an outsider’s perspective, I had it all. It was this feeling of false achievement that internally tore me down though. I was miserable inside and felt guilty for being so. This is what happens when you aren’t living true to yourself.
“You have it all. I am so jealous!” I constantly was told.
But there was something missing inside of me…a purpose.
I came to a very low, depressed and dark point. My inner turmoil began to affect everyone around me and ruin relationships with people I loved. I came to a place where I felt dead inside…but I wasn’t dead.
I was still alive and breathing and existing. I then realized there was more to me than the life I had created. I began to question my life and the choices I had made. I questioned myself and finally really listened for answers. I became aware of the voice inside of me that whispered, “This is not you. This is just the situation you are in.”
I pushed myself out of the comfort zone that was drowning me and smothering my soul. I, just like you, have the fighter that lives within. There is something that drives human beings forward through struggles and pain. An inner force tells you everything is going to be okay- and if you listen you can completely turn your world right side up. We all have this inner strength- it’s the awareness of it that makes it powerful.
Once I became aware that a change needed to happen, I acted quickly. One action after the next felt better than the last and I knew I was not only headed in the right direction but was about to be changed forever. I became addicted to the acts of positive change.
I quit my job, sold all of my belongings, and got rid of my apartment and car. I broke down and let go all the shiny parts of perfection I had worked years to obtain. Suddenly I knew none of that stuff mattered anymore.
Then I did what my shallow former self never would have done…I bought a backpack. A big ugly red backpack that I decided would carry all that I would need for one year.
I decided to leave all the trappings of the world I was unhappy in and opted to go see the rest of the world instead. My heart was set on traveling- long term. It always was there- the urge- but my mind shut it down. Three weeks vacation time a year was not going to cut it so I skipped it altogether year after year…until I made the shift.
I not only wanted way out of my life but an open door to a life amongst the rest of the entire world and I found it- right in front of my face.
I craved the knowledge that travel could bring. I swooned over thoughts of walking the Champs Elysee in Paris with a baguette in hand. I day dreamed of beaches in Thailand and playing with monkeys and elephants. These wishes were never out of reach, I just had failed to reach for them.
Last August I boarded a plane to Europe with no set plan other than to see as much as possible. I decided I would go wherever I wanted and live off savings for a while until I found a place I would like to settle and work for a while. I decided to become a nomad.
Fast forward four months, two continents and 12 countries later, I am as free as a bird. I go wherever my inner compass tells me to go and I meet the most amazing people along the way. Jobs present themselves as do other opportunities to become more grounded in one place, but I’m not ready for that.
Right now, my intention is to continue exploring. I am “flirting” with every country, if you will, and plan to do so until I fall in love with a place and find myself unable to leave. No one makes my decisions for me and no one pressures me to do anything I don’t want to do. There are no longer any unnecessary influences running my life. I am free and have found a peacefulness in myself that has lead to inner trust. I trust myself to go through life with intention, now and always.
I am creating a life worth living in for myself every single day and therefore becoming the best version of myself for the future.
All it took was that first step up the stairs of change.
No matter what your true desire may be, you can achieve it if only you reach.
If you really want something to happen in your life, it must. It is just a matter of your willingness to go after it. Once you take step one, the rest are inevitable and you will climb faster than you think.
Take the stairs. If I can, anyone can.