Have you ever felt like you were given a second chance? Third chance, maybe? That if you didn’t finally make a change with this next chance being given to you, you just might get sucked into a stagnant-life abyss?
I WAS BARELY TREADING WATER.
I became a mother at 21. My first darling child, The Oldest, was born just six weeks after I turned that milestone age. Back then, I thought I knew everything. I was sure I had it all figured out.
I knew NOTHING.
I took the necessary, cautionary and pseudo-responsible steps. I worked a full-time job with insurance benefits. I earned a college degree in the hopes that I could secure a more lucrative and fulfilling full-time job with benefits.
I then spent 10 years continuing to TREAD WATER… and I have nothing personally fulfilling to show for it. I realized that I had no idea how to stop treading. Until this thought slammed into my brain:
EVERYTHING I WAS DOING WAS IN AN EFFORT TO MAINTAIN THE LIFE IN WHICH I WAS SLOWLY DROWNING.
It occurred to me that while I was trying things I’d never before tried, and I was living my life (mostly) without fear, I was still stagnant. Admitting that to myself was extraordinarily difficult. It took a vast amount of effort to refrain from diving into a self-pity void. It dawned on me then that for all my life I’d been kicking myself in the ass for every single mistake I’d made. I’d spent HOURS trying to determine WHY I had made a particular mistake and WHICH root influences had contributed.
This time, I CHOSE to FOCUS FORWARD.
I knew what I had: DRIVE, ENTHUSIASM, some loosely sewn together GOALS.
What I lacked was a VISION – an inspired, unencumbered vision.
I recognized that I was being given another chance… a chance to live my life the way I truly want. All the pieces had fallen into place…and I had to either bring it hard, or pack it all up.
I chose to bring it. I kicked the storm’s ass.
“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. … And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” ― Haruki Murakami
On the other side of that storm, I:
1. Stopped the guilt b.s. Feeling guilty about what I had done wrong in the past, or opportunities I may have missed, only kept me treading water … kept me in the storm. So I stopped allowing that to control me.
2. Followed the advice of people who’d been where I’d been and gotten THROUGH and OUT of it. Others have advice and answers – know which others to turn to. Follow the advice of people who are where you want to be, or are well on their way.
3. Started following my heart — intuition, faith in myself, vision — call it what you want. I no longer feel the need to do what anyone else thinks I should be doing. About anything.
This way of living has helped me thrive. Thrive, baby.
Love and light,
What storm have you weathered that changed you completely? Share in the comments below!
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