This past week, as I found myself sitting and listening to the waves crash in on the shoreline of the Gold Coast, I had one of those beautiful moments where I knew nothing would ever be the same and that life was about to change in miraculous ways that were beyond my comprehension.
It sounds funny considering the last year has already brought so much change, but as I sat there and watched the waves shift in unison with the wind, I realized I too was still shifting. Stepping away from everything familiar was simply the first step, the initial leap of faith, but certainly not the last.
The process of un-becoming.
Looking back at the calendar from a year ago, this was my final week in the office with my team. I packed up over a decade worth of projects, notes, memories, and clients. When it was all done, I left carrying two boxes out to my car that would eventually be combined into one and placed in a POD that would make its way across the world with the rest of our belongings.
The days that followed my last in the office were so busy managing schedules, checklists, and preparations. It still feels like a blur. Tears, laughter, goodbyes.
We left two weeks later. And, I have spent every day since then simply trying to figure it all out.
Nobody gives you a manual on how to do life, particularly when you are stepping into the unknown and attempting to redefine what the next 20 years of your life might look like. At some point you simply realize that each step will eventually lead you to the next and rather than focus on the expectation of what the future holds, you just enjoy each step and live from moment to moment.
And let’s be honest, some of those steps have been stumbles.
This year has been anything but easy. Adventurous, yes. Easy, no.
One of the biggest struggles has been trying to figure out who I am supposed to be now that everything looks different. I knew I would miss friends and family. I knew I would miss the routine of my career. I knew I would struggle with things like driving and trying to figure out a new way of life. Everything that was once familiar – it all changed. But what I didn’t realize was that while I was busy preparing for all of that, what I forgot to prepare myself for was the seismic shift I would feel internally as a result of all the change.
I called one of my girlfriends recently. I was in a bit of funk – it happens to all of us. I was very honest with her and said, “sometimes I feel like I am living someone else’s life.” All the changes – even with being fully aware that this is what I signed up for – have brought on several “pinch me” moments. I sometimes think back to my previous life and feel like a fish out of water in my new one.
The lights and hustle of the city replaced by the sound of waves and a slower pace. A much slower pace.
Of course, I have met some amazing people who are helping to make life feel a bit more normal and after nearly a year, I am finally finding my stride. But it certainly doesn’t remove the feeling that even more changes are coming. And, for the first time in my life, I feel like I am openly surrendering to a plan that is no longer my own.
What I have realized in opening both my arms and my heart is that I no longer live life in a box of shaped experiences bound by rules and conditions. I have let go and am rediscovering the freedom I have to fall in love with my life, exactly as it looks today.
In unbecoming everything I was previously conditioned to be, I allow myself to step into the truest version of myself – which is everything.
Life will continue to have difficult moments and I will stumble along the way, but I also know the plan will be much more beautiful than anything I could ever imagine, that I could ever choreograph. I am no longer the conductor of the orchestra of my life.
Sometimes you have to undo everything – the heartbreak, the broken relationships, career success and failure, missed opportunities, familiarity. It’s like rewiring an engine – starting over. A blank page where the words have yet to be written. A puzzle with all the pieces waiting to be put together.
But how often do we find ourselves stuck, thinking we have gone too far down the rabbit hole to turn back, to start over? Sometimes there are overriding circumstances that simply create roadblocks, paralyzing our ability to live.
I was talking with a client just the other day who was telling me that she wished she could go back and do it all over again, making different choices along the way. She felt that her time had passed and that she no longer had the freedom to choose.
But that’s the thing about life – it doesn’t have to be that way. You can change the course and the direction at any time, at any age. We all have a choice – to stay stuck in the circumstance of an unfulfilling existence or to break free.
And, sometimes the only way to get from point A to point B is to leap without fear. To surrender.
A year ago, I took my first leap of faith in a sequence of leaps and left a successful career behind. Then another – stepping foot onto a plane and moving halfway across the world. And every step since then, has individually – no matter how great or how small – been a leap of faith of sorts.
Had someone told me two years ago that I would be at peace leaping without answers, I would have questioned their sanity. Today, I believe it. And I know that in another two years from now, I will look back on all these moments – each leap of faith – and I will be thankful because every leap and every step is leading to my final-destination. And while the rest is still unknown, I do know it will be an amazing ride.
This week, I would encourage all of you to look at your own life. Are you fulfilled or do you feel stuck? Are you living your life inside the four corners of the proverbial box you have chosen to place yourself in or are you allowing yourself the freedom to truly live and embrace life?
Whether it is a career change, a relationship, or lack thereof – let’s all take some time to leap into the unknown and allow ourselves to fall in love with our lives again, with ourselves.
In unbecoming everything you think you are supposed to be, you allow yourself to become everything you are meant to be instead.
Cheers to a new week!!