Are you living or are you merely alive? If you’re like the majority of people, you’re waiting for a sign: for enough money, for more time, for retirement, for some day where everything is a bit less chaotic.
The funny thing is, that day never comes. The only constant in life is change and you’ll always have an excuse to remain covered by the glass ceiling you’ve created for yourself. Just like you make time for your job and that weekly Netflix binge, you have to make the time for spontaneity, creativity, and exploration. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive and extravagant. It can be a roadtrip to a nearby place you’ve never been to. It can be writing your first blog post. It can be reconnecting with an old friend that you’ve lost time in the day for.
Something I realized is that creating a life that you want to live is less about resources and more about a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone. We underestimate the value of “little” steps that inch us forward with a debilitating all-or-nothing mentality. Quick fixes and instant hacks have created the illusion that the messy in-between transitional phases of growth and change are a means of shame.
Don’t let this skewed idea of perfection prevent you from trying and failing and making mistakes. Messing up puts us in a vulnerable place because we’re hardly exposed to anything besides the highlight reel of others’ lives. It’s human to not get things right the first time, to pivot, to not follow a conventional path.
On a personal level, change is scary because we’re stepping outside of the framework of who we’ve identified ourselves to be up until this point. If you don’t consider yourself a fun, spunky, and worldly person, it can feel out of character to randomly catch a cheap flight for the weekend or to surprise your family with a new dinner recipe that may or may not taste the best the first time around. If you don’t align your actions with the changes you want to feel and witness, you’re never going to become the person you want to be.
My intention recently has been just that: to take chances that will help me evolve and learn more about myself. That commitment has led to my first solo flight at 19 years old hundreds of miles away from home to a meet-and-greet hosted by my fitness idol. It has initiated the decision to move away from home to a new environment that will actually contribute to my emotional healing journey. It has taught me how to slow down and appreciate the beauty of life around me instead of perceiving every situation or relationship as a transaction.
Growing up around jaded parents and teachers who live in a bubble of monotony, I had to learn how to think and behave differently because staying complacent no longer serves me. Don’t get me wrong, an “average” life is not a bad life if it makes you happy, but if each day is a vessel of misery, empty wishes, and dissatisfaction, it’s your responsibility to do something about it. I’m not saying it’ll be easy, but it’ll be worth it.
Surround yourself with people who resemble your future self and loosen ties with those who drag you back to square one. Plan your attempts at one new action or task per week. Journal and document your journey, so you can consistently look back at how far you’ve come when you feel like you’ve hardly made any progress at all.
You’re not too old and you’re not too young. You’re not too busy and you’re not too poor. You make time for what you make time for. You and I have the same 24 hours in a day.
You are worthy of your own efforts. You deserve for things to work out in your favor, even if they take a little longer to come into fruition. I have no doubt that what you consistently work at will become your reality. The question is: do you even have the courage to try?
Julia Nadolski, CPT