The reason you’re here, feeling confused and unsure of yourself and the direction you want to take your life is because deep down you want to do something extraordinary.
Something is quietly pulling you towards stepping out of line and standing out. A tiny part of you is excited about this. But most of you doesn't want want to stand out, it doesn't want to get any extra attention. This is the the sensible, social part of you that cares so much about what others think.
This part is trying to pull you back into line. It's trying to get you to blend back in with the rest of your friends and family. It wants you to avoid that tense, worried feeling that you get when you see some of your friends or your family and are anxiously waiting for the dreaded question; “So what are you doing with your life?”
Ok, so they might just ask you, “How’s work?” but you KNOW that’s a loaded question. You feel like a big, fat liar when you answer, “yeah fine” when really it’s not, it’s absolutely f***king terrible! But still that's what you say as you push all the big dreamy plans you've got down to the deepest, darkest part of you in case they accidentally pop out and embarrass you by revealing what you're really thinking.
I mean, those big dreamy plans basically seem like fiction BUT there is a tiny part of you knows that you can make them a reality.
So why don't you?
Well, the other part of you (you know the sensible, cares what people think and easily embarrassed part) is getting scared. She's trying to stamp those big dreamy plans out andburn them out and pleading, can't we just go back to normal? All she wants is to livea normal life where you aren't nervous of the question “How’s work?”
You’re here, trying to find your direction, feeling totally stuck, lost and confused because you can’t quite admit to yourself what your direction is. You’re looking for an easier solution. One that doesn’t involve changing something big in your life or having to explain to your friends and family what the hell it is you’re doing or having to invest a scary amount of money or time in yourself when really you should be visiting the bank to get a mortgage or getting a promotion at work so you can keep earning your age in money (that isn't just me that worries about this right???).
About every half hour you flit between
a) applying for that sensible job that pays your age in money (or more), gives you loads of training and keeps you trapped there in an invisible self-built prison until you’re way past 30 and too old to have any fun in your life (joking about that but that’s definitely what it feels like.)
b) Dropping it all to follow your excitement, curiosity and sense of adventure to take a big risk and really, truly feel that for once you’re sucking the marrow out of life.
I mean to me on paper the decision seems obvious. YOLO and all that. But seriously, have you ever tried to step out of line???
Try staring down the barrel of a completely empty calendar, a bank account devoid of any incoming direct debits and the pressures of everyone you know and have ever met raining down like hell upon you then see how you feel! It’s certainly not all roses then!
This is moment that thousands turn and flee.
“Omg it’s just too much!”
“What the hell was I thinking?!”
“I thought it would be more fun, this isn’t more fun this is too scary and hard and I want my mum ahhhhh!”
Trust me, I turned and ran before. I just too scared. I made a compromise which wasn't a great decision BUT I've learnt so much and grown so much since then that I don’t regret it. I mean I look back and laugh because there was no way I was ready to face that gun back then.
But now I know my opponent, I'm back for Round Two AND I’m determined to keep on going no matter how close that gun gets to going off.
I’m listening to that tiny part of me that knows that I can make my big dreamy plans a reality and I’m going to keep following it no matter what. I know that’s the path of growth.
I’m making a commit to really live my life, to embrace the rough edges, the terrifying moments when I wake up in the dead of night with fear in the pit of my stomach. I’m going to keep on going through it all. I know I’ll get battered and bruised but out of it I’ll emerge stronger, knowing that I’ve given everything that I wanted to a try. I’m taking the risk.
I’d rather die poor, battered and bruised knowing that I pushed myself and made the most out of my short time on this earth than in luxury, well-fed but full of unfulfilled potential and regrets.
That's my decision. I'm not saying it's the right or the wrong one, it's just the path I'm choosing to take. Whether you make the same decision, it’s your’s to make and your’s to live with. But I’m guessing that, because you’re here and feeling this pull, you’re tempted to join me on this crazy, uncomfortable adventure. So let’s close our eyes, take a slightly choked breath, try not to cry and jump (while praying for a soft landing).