Going against the grain is scary.
I grew up in a lower to (eventually) middle class family. My parents married young and both entered the work force right after high school. They had kids fairly quickly and settled into their lives, working hard to make a nice life for me and my sisters.
This worked for them.
It didn’t work for me.
While I was in high school I was chomping at the bit to leave home and try some new experiences. I wanted to go away to college and finish my degree. I wanted to have a job that I loved – not just one that paid the bills. I wanted to travel. I wanted to meet interesting people. I wanted to have crazy adventures. I wanted to live life to its fullest.
I am happy to say that I have done all the above – and more. In the past. However, recently, I have felt stuck. Literally trapped by the feeling that over the last few years, I have settled into a life that I didn’t really plan on – or want – and have no way to change my circumstances.
It’s not a pleasant feeling.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not in an awful situation. I have a good job, loving friends and, for the normal person, live a very pleasant and fulfilling life.
I have come to accept, however, that I am not normal.
I’ve spent some time trying to change my situation. However, I continuously feel like I’m on one side of those double hotel doors (you know, the ones that connect you to another room but need to be opened from both sides?). I spend a lot of time opening as many doors as I possible can, only to find that the other side remains firmly shut.
This is also not a pleasant feeling.
In fact, it is a feeling of helplessness. That no matter what I do, I can’t manage to change my circumstances.
Over the last week, this frustration has been rearing its ugly head on a regular basis. I remember the awesome things that I used to do and the love for the life I used to live and wonder what happened. How did I become so…normal?
The more I think about it, the more I realize that the problem is me. Well, not so much me, but my current actions. Most of the amazing experiences, jobs and people that have shaped my life have come through the moments where I choose to do something outside the box. Pursuing my passion, even though I didn’t know if I could make a living. Creating an opportunity to work oversees. Moving across the country. Taking spontaneous trips. Talking to random people. Trying a variety of hobbies and activities.
If I take a serious look at my current life, these actions are woefully lacking. I have become complacent in my situation. I don’t seek out the new. Even my attempts to change my current situation have been limited to fairly traditional paths.
It’s time to break open the box.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently spent some time trying to figure out what my true passions are. I have found that some of those passions are not the same that they were 5-10 years ago. And that’s ok. However, while in the past I would pursue a passion with a gleeful zeal, finding off-the-beaten paths that allowed me to experience it to its fullest, I have to admit that it has become much easier to say “oh maybe some day” and continue with my more accepted, comfortable pursuits.
And that is not ok.
It’s time to channel my younger self – in particular my courage, determination and drive – and transform my life as I know it. It’s time to know longer accept the shut door – but to find a way to break it down. Or to leave the door and find a window. It’s time to find set aside my fear or uncertainty and accept who I am and what I love and to make a life of which I am 100% proud.
It’s time to break open the box.