The most recent stories from The Change Blog community.
As a recovering type A personality, I wish control worked. And it does, sometimes. But there’s always at least one area of life that cannot be tamed. You’re happily married but have health issues. Or you’re financially stable but struggling with fertility. You have fulfilling work but no life partner. Nothing ever goes our way entirely, and that can become a great doorway for transformation.
The heart of transformation involves facing change. Here, change makes us feel vulnerable because it means engaging new unknowns. We’ve been taught to rely on control to deal with uncertainty. The challenge is that control boxes us into viewing reality as good versus bad. So if a change arrives that fits into our perception about what life should look like, we’re happy. But what happens if a change arrives that doesn’t fit into our box? Either we can’t recognize it or we push it away (hello, denial). And what if life throws us a curveball? Then the box crumbles and we’re left feeling overwhelmed.
I’m not old by any means but one thing I have learned from my 31 years and 8 months in this world is that each of us is unique. There is not one single person out there that looks like me, thinks like me, has the same circumstances as me, or the same thought process as me. So it doesn’t really make much sense to follow the same life course as anyone else.
Much like there is no one size fits all approach to fitness and nutrition, there is no one size fits all approach to how you should live your life. This is the story of my journey to being who I always wanted to be. It includes why I quit my job, sold my car and gave away $45,000. I hope you enjoy.
I looked at my bank account online this morning and saw my balance is $-0.01. AAAAAAAACK!!! Intellectually, I know this is temporary. I know that it was caused by a “perfect storm” of bad timing revolving around deposits, withdrawals and a bank holiday. I know that more money is coming to me. But in this exact moment, I can’t help but feel panicked.
The trick I’ve learned, and the reason that I’m sharing this deeply personal, and potentially embarassing information with you, is that I need to make a distinction between “having no money” and “being worthless”.
Here’s the thing. The grass is always greener on the other side. It looks easier than your grass, it seems so much softer than your grass and if only you could have ‘that’ grass, how much nicer your life would be. You could probably come up with at least a dozen things that you would do with that grass. Then it happens. You finally have your chance to take ownership of that fantastically greener, softer version of your own grass and what do you know? You’re sitting on the couch in your pajamas watching the 5thepisode of that insatiable reality show that you have a love/hate relationship with.
It happened to me. I worked for 15 years in Corporate America before I had the opportunity to work from home. Like many people working in Corporate America, I’ve always thought that living the life of an entrepreneur would be a piece of cake compared to working for a billion dollar corporation where conformity was the norm and creative freedom was a hobby. In 2010, the opportunity of a lifetime unfolded right before my eyes and for the first time, I was given a chance to step over to the other side of the grass.
Can you pinpoint the pivotal time in your life when you became an adult? For me, it was when I finally left my home to go traveling.
I took a working holiday in New Zealand for six months and while I was there I met my English boyfriend and lived in England with him for 14 months. During these 20 months of travel I grew more than I ever could have if I had stayed in Canada.
When I left Canada at the age of 22 I was confused and conflicted. I wondered what my future would bring and I had only a slight inkling that there was so much more to see and do in the great big world out there. When I returned to Canada at age 24 after having worked and lived abroad in New Zealand and England for two years I was a strong and confident adult with a plan for my future. Here are five of the ways that working abroad helped me to grow up:
Some days, lessons come from the most unexpected sources. And usually, these kinds of “eye-opening” experiences are the most transformative.
Such was the experience one day – some 25 years ago.