Here I am, over half a year since leaving my full-time job to jump into what I imagined was a sure road to success, and the rediscovery of my dreams and creativity, if I just believed, smiled, took care of myself and thanked the universe. Surely now that I had released something I had been mentally stuck in, everything else would just quickly and easily fall into place wouldn’t it?
That could well have been my truth, had I really, genuinely released everything, and really, genuinely believed. Had I been 100% honest with myself, or drawn out a clear road map to my definition of personal success and not fallen so quickly at the first sign of difficulty, or perhaps had I been in a different stage of my personal development; it may well have all fallen into place like melting butter. So I’m not saying the above is totally impossible, because some people do achieve differently.
I didn’t REALLY believe, I just hoped. I hadn’t completely released, I had only just begun the first step to releasing, and little did I know there was a whole mountain, no, a whole range of mountains of release to come. I had no road maps, just vague ideas and a million and one possible ‘maybes’. If I was being 100% honest with myself at the time, I’d have admitted that my fear was much greater than my excitement; that I was absolutely terrified of not succeeding, that I’d become a broke failure, and that no one would believe in me or have patience with my fragmented dreams while I tried to put them together.
I did it the hard way, I threw myself out of the known, into the unknown with no rope, and I drowned a little, OK, a lot.
For all those out there recommending that people just up and leave the jobs they don’t like and embark on a dream with rose-tinted glasses on, or a ‘just believe and it will happen’ mentality; I am here to offer a slightly different perspective and to say that I now think those are all pretty ambiguous recommendations that only skim the surface, especially for those that are very stuck in old patterns, and have a tendency to get stuck in general.
Firstly, it’s not been hard for me personally, it’s actually been f****** ridiculously, unbelievably, astoundingly hard as nails difficult! It’s been a punch in the stomach, a slap in the face, and an up and down of insanity! It’s been a struggle and still is, and it has most definitely NOT been what I hoped. The struggles have been and are, psychological and emotional, wearing down into physical. I have lost more hair than I care to, and had more headaches, fatigue and digestive issues than I know what to do with. I am not here to complain, but to be real, and that’s just how it’s been in my experience by throwing myself in at the deep end.
Here’s what’s interesting to me:
Would I take it all back?
I am just waking up to the realisation now of how wonderful it is that I felt the fear, and I did it anyway. To some that may not seem like much of a gain, but imagine realising that you can throw yourself into your own fire and still be standing, and even looking forward to the rest. Imagine the seed of possibility that is beginning to grow in me and the deep-seated knowledge that there must be strength and power in me, where I previously only saw ashes.
Every step of the past several months has been vital in its gruesome, sticky, hard-to-look at mess. From burning my old work uniform as a symbol of relinquishing the old and welcoming the new, to my couple of months in practical solitude abroad which led to a sun-kissed, healthy glow and the rediscovery of the things that I represent, to returning home and facing a seemingly never ending period of ‘stuckness’ where nothing matched what I thought I represented, nothing seemed to work and everything felt like a confusing maze.
I’m stopping and starting, making mistakes, falling and rising, freaking out, crying, laughing, and now…only now I can feel what is happening and I daren’t question it. All I know is that floods of feelings of realisation are coming to me.
I am looking back and beginning to understand…ever so slowly. My real-time of snail speed will probably look like lightning in years to come when I look back, so I want to take it all in now and not miss a thing.
We all have varying levels of what our comfort zones are; some throw themselves off planes or bungee jump. I personally chose to cut off a comfortable and predictable safety net, very drastically without any fool-proof plans.
I am nowhere near achieving what I originally set out to, but I’ve achieved something else instead. I learned what hurts, what feels good, what I love, and what I dislike. I learned these preferences can change at any moment and so I should work with what is happening at the time. I’ve learned when to do things in increments and when to do things suddenly. I’ve learned to spot fake things and people a mile off.
While I will not recommend throwing yourself in the deep end like me, I will however recommend jumping into an instinctive moment when you feel it, and rolling with the punches in your own way. If that to you means doing as I did, so be it.
Some will take baby steps, and some will take giant leaps, and both are fine because you have your own unique lessons in store for you. Feel your fear and know that if you do it anyway, you will learn something. If you don’t do it anyway, you will also learn something.
For me, without feeling all of this internal hardship, I would not be writing this, and I would not begin to know the magnitude of me as deeply as I am. I might have been doing something else at this point, but I listened to an instinct that is getting me there perfectly, wherever ‘there’ is.
I don’t know what’s next. It could feel even harder than this, which is a frightening thought, but it could also feel better. I love that I don’t know, and I fear that I don’t know, but you can bet I will do it anyway when I do feel it.