*No time to read? Listen via the audio below at any time*
I was inspired to begin writing as an attempt to answer the questions everyone seems to be asking…
“What are you going to do now?” and “What will you do there?” are questions I hear every day, from every single person who knows me.
My regular answer is, “Live… you know, see where life takes me.” Then I feel like an asshole for being too blunt and I attempt to ramble on a bit more until the inquisitor seems satisfied.
The truth is, moving to the U.S Virgin Islands is not an impulsive decision that I made on a whim. I’ve thought about it for over a year now. I made difficult life changes to assure that I’m in the right mental place to make this decision with clarity. It was really painful at times, and there were intense life lessons I’ve learned this past year that I know I will be writing about in future posts to come.
Sooo, here is a piece of what led me to kick off this new way of living that I decided to jump HEAD FUCKING FIRST into…
I (very) recently quit my job and left the corporate world. This is something I have wanted to do since I first stepped foot in an office six years ago as a wide-eyed college intern. Until now, I had been too paralyzed by fear to make a move.
I distinctly remember how I started to convince myself that I was happy in corporate America.
I constantly repeated this ridiculous story to myself. It was all about how smart I was for making the rational decision to bank money, so I can ‘one day’ do the things I’ve always dreamt of. I received positive feedback as I shared this story with others. I heard it constantly, “good for you, save as much as you can now.” I felt validated by the opinions of others, and to be honest, it felt really good.
I wrote in past Instagram posts about making the decision to take responsibility for loving every part of my life, and with that comes practicing gratitude incessantly. I think in regularly practicing gratitude, I truthfully found happiness in the corporate world for a time.
I really did have the best case scenario for myself. I was in a sales job, surrounded by awesome people who became family, and I had incredible bosses who pushed me to be the best I could be.
I was forced to push myself out of my comfort zone EVERY SINGLE DAY for the past two years, which I hated yet loved at the same time. I also knew that learning to cold call and deal with daily rejection would be an invaluable life skill. So, all in all, I was generally appreciative of the struggle and hustle that was my everyday life as a salesperson in the staffing industry.
But deep down, it felt like something was missing.
I continued at my attempt to pay attention to my actions and feelings, and eventually, things started to click. I realized I wasn’t necessarily happy anymore.
I always knew I wouldn’t feel fulfilled working toward someone else’s dream that wasn’t aligned with my own, but I didn’t think I’d want to make a change so soon.
I had no idea what the change was, and no idea where to start. The only thing I could think to do, was to continue focusing my attention within and continue to be the best I could be in my current work environment.
As time passed, I began to notice something that scared the shit out of me…
The voice inside my head, that spoke about all of the things I’ve dreamt of doing since I was a child, was getting quieter. As a result, I was pulling myself away from my passions. Even with all my writing and self-evaluation, I still didn’t notice this was happening.
I began filling that void with things that probably weren’t the best habits in the world. I was spending recklessly (I’ve always been a saver). I was partying too much (more than in college), and I was in relationships that were hardly conducive to who I aim to be.
The amount of caffeine and ‘supplements’ I was consuming was NOT OKAY, and as an IIN certified holistic health coach (and a Libra), I could not BELIEVE that I was allowing myself to become so off balance.
I was living in pain and had no idea because I figured out how to mask it with partying and caffeine.
I was too scared to face my feelings and was completely unaware of it.
I kept getting further from listening to my heart, and the further I got, the quieter my heart became. As I let my heart’s voice soften, my mind became louder and more dominant. As my mind took over, anxiety crept in. Before I knew it, I had my first (and only) panic attack, and it was HORRIBLE. ***My heart goes out to anyone who suffers from these on a regular, or even semi-regular basis because DAMN, that shit SUCKED.***
The panic attack forced me to notice that soon enough, if I kept avoiding it, my heart would stop speaking to me altogether. I wasn’t willing to let that happen. I needed to dig deeper into myself and figure out every driving force that was making me the way I was at the time.
It hit me hard that where I was in my life was a result of listening to everyone else, and trying to portray myself as ‘smart’, ‘rational’ and ‘put together’. I realized that if I kept listening to the advice from people whose lives I didn’t want, I would end up living a life I didn’t want.
I became obsessed with reading and listening to people who are living the life I dream to have. Those are the people whose advice I needed to take. Those are the people who have the mindset I want to emulate.
It led me to make the decision to do everything I could to keep the voice that speaks of my passions louder than any other voice in my head. I felt that I had no choice but to do more than I was to live the best life that I can.
And where am I now?
I’m home in New Jersey, absolutely loving my life. I’m doing the things I love to do every single day, and am committed to learning everything I can about them.
I’ll be heading over to the USVI in September, for however long, and seeing where it leads me. I could be there for a few days, a few weeks, or a few years… who knows. I’m open to anything really. It feels wild and out of control, but absolutely right at the same time.
And you know what? I’m terrified.
I’m terrified every day, but I’m working on it. I’m working on getting mentally stronger, and I’m working on feeling the fear and doing it anyway. It feels fucking awesome every time I overcome a fear.
Hell, I’m terrified to write this for you to read. But I’m doing it anyway.
In consciously practicing gratitude for the past 9 years of my life, I gained an insane appreciation for living. I understand at the core how lucky I am to even be here.
I’ve told life for a very long time how grateful I am for it, but now I feel I need to show it. I need to prove to life how grateful I am to be here by doing what my heart is directing me to do.
I’m sure I’ll fail miserably a million times over. I’m sure I’ll be ridiculed. I’m sure I’ll continue to be terrified. I’m sure I’ll feel even more lost than I do right now. I’m also sure that it will be a great fucking journey because I’ve stepped into living a life that’s true to myself.
Also *** I am so appreciative of every single person who has done what I’m doing and put their heart out there for the world to see. You have all helped me SO MUCH. It’s why I decided to start writing. If I can help one person get the courage to follow their heart, or not feel so alone in their journey, then the vulnerability of spilling my soul to the vast and cruel internet will be more than worth it.
I’ll be sure to keep in touch 🙂