I moved to Philadelphia just over 10 years ago to start my corporate journey. Suburban girl moving to the big city. Taking public transportation, walking side by side with other suits to their skyscraper office building to sit hunched over in a cubicle, flooded with recycled air and fluorescent lighting. Hell yeah! This is what life is all about, right?! Sure, for some….but not for me.
This article won’t touch on anything that you have not heard before, but if the following inspires one individual or even gets someones brain working in a different way, it’s totally worth it. I want to share my story and let you know that your current set of circumstances is not a life sentence.
Each and everyone of us is taught to live a life that consists of the same beaten down path. It’s a safe path that leaves many with no fufillment. You know the path that I am talking about. Go to college, get a job, kick off a career, get married, have a baby, retire, die. Only to have been stressed out, anxious and suffering from regret most of the time.
This cycle is easy to swallow since we’ve been force-fed this same scenario since birth.
Sure the security of having a steady paycheck, health insurance and a 401K is very reassuring but at what point do you take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, is it worth it? I asked myself that very question so many times until one day I realized it wasn’t.
I followed all of the rules. I graduated college, I got a great job, bought a house and got married.
That’s what I supposed to do, right? Until I started to feel like time had stopped. I started questioning almost everything in my life. Was I really happy? Was I getting fulfillment out of my job? My marriage? Myself? I was caught in the trap. The cycle that we’re all trained to think is the way to success and happiness. F that! I was drained. I did everything for everyone else. My parents, my boss, my husband. I wanted Jaclyn.
Many of us get too caught up in what’s going on around us to truly take the time for self reflection. This could not have been more true for me. On a whim, I decided that I was going to commit myself to 200 hours of yoga training. That’s a lot of time for self reflection. It was during this time that I honestly started to learn who I was and what I wanted. Being around other people that were experiencing similar thoughts and emotions made me realize that although I may have been going through a quarter lifecrisis, it was totally normal! I put myself in a position that forced me to look in the mirror and ask myself why. Why was I always trying to please my parents? Why did I fall in the same relationship rut time after time. Was it me? Was it them? I was afraid of taking risks and at the possibility of not following the right path in life. What would my parents think? What would my friends say to me? If you make it to your 30’s or 40’s without having a melt down, you’re lying to yourself. Blame it on the OM….but seriously, I will forever be grateful for this experience.
When you have the opportunity, I encourage you to find a place where you can be alone and let your mind run completely and totally uninterrupted.
Take as long as you need and write things down that ignite a fire inside of you. It can be anything… Do you want to write more? Are you stuck in a relationship that you’ve outgrown? Do you want to adopt a more healthy lifestyle? Do you want to go back to school? Start a business? It doesn’t matter. Just write down whatever comes to mind.
Quitting my corporate job was one of the most stressful and exhilarating experiences of my 33 years on earth, second to getting a divorce. I knew that I was taking a huge risk, giving up a nice paycheck and a comfortable lifestyle. I also knew that my life was more valuable than wasting away between 3 beige colored fabric walls, the white noise of an HVAC vent and being in a relationship that was not meant for me.
To be clear, I am not telling you to make a bunch of off-the-wall decisions but if you are living a life that leaves you less then fulfilled, perhaps it’s time to take a look in the mirror. You only live once.
I’ve learned from my past and the decisions I have made but I’ll never have regret. I have made choices, some out of passion, some out of fear but most of them out of desire. Out of a desire of wanting more for myself and the world around me. Once you’re able to take everyone else’s opinions and judgements out of the equation, you’ll be amazed at what your own brain is capable of doing. You’ll find yourself being creative, inspired, motivated and eager to achieve something greater.