Just shy of a year ago, I wrote a blog called “Big Life, Big Work, Big Love” http://bit.ly/1Wlt7xi
This blog was written during a time of major change in my life. It was written during a time that I was in deep reflection about my life, the person that I am and what I truly wanted out of this great big world. This blog was written in the heart of the most difficult period of my life.
It is a tough pill to swallow when you open your eyes to the realization that you have been living your life and making choices for everyone else but yourself. Living your life behind a mask takes a toll and it is a big one.
So now, almost exactly one year later, I revisited this blog. It was hard to read. For a moment, all of the angst and pain that has accompanied my self-discovery and pursuing a life that is true to me came rushing back. At that time, I was on a mission. I was on a mission to find that life that reflected the person that I really am.
The question is: Did I do anything about it? We all have things we want to change or improve. We all have goals and resolutions. We all succeed and we all fail.
Change, especially major change, is often difficult. It is often easier to give up than stick with the uncomfortable and sometimes painful process of change. The status quo is infinitely easier. There are typically no ‘unknowns’ if you are doing what you have always done but if you are unhappy with your status quo, then you have a problem. You also have a choice to make. Stick with what you know and be unhappy or take a risk and change it. That change has the potential to end in utter failure, which is scary. That change also has the potential to turn your life around in amazing ways.
The real test is whether you are ready to embark on the changes you need to make in order to live a life that you love.
This blog is my ‘Part 2’. My base check. My gauge for myself to see if I spent the last year just whining about the things I don’t like or if I spent it taking the risks that I needed to take to get to where I want to be. While I am sharing some of my personal story here, this blog is not really about me. This blog is about going for it. It is about throwing fear out the window to achieve the life of your dreams. This blog is about making yourself happy so that all the ones around you that you love can finally get to know the real you.
If you think this will be a message of how absolutely perfect my life has become in the last year, you will be disappointed. I am still transitioning, I am still growing every day (and will for the rest of my life) and things are still often hard and painful.
All of that said, I have come a long way baby. I am proud of that and excited each day for what I can do next and how I can grow as a person. I have looked fear in the face and jumped right off the cliff toward the beautiful life that I want.
So what progress have I made? What risks have I taken to get to where I need to be? Have I been just talking the talk or am I walking the walk?
- In the last two years, I lost 55 pounds. I did not participate in some fad diet. I just slowly started changing my habits toward a healthier lifestyle. While I still have work to do in this area, I have made huge strides and feel better about myself physically than I have in years.
- I got divorced. Certainly the single most difficult thing I have done. If you have read some of my previous blogs, you will know that I have been taking care of someone else since I was a small child. I have never been on my own to explore who I really am. The hard truth is that you can’t love someone else the way that you should if you are unable to love yourself first. I needed to learn to do that. While difficult and sad, I am truly thankful that we have been able to remain friends.
- I have rediscovered my love for adventure. In the last two years, I got a tattoo, have started racing Dragon Boats again, took a belly dancing class, made a boatload of amazing new friends, launched myself in a 5G 120 mph slingshot, took a total mud bath at a mud run, saw the Cowboys play in Santa Clara, communed with mother nature on the beaches of Hawaii, picked up some new hobbies and tried all kinds of new food that I never would have touched before. While just a sampling of my escapades, it has been a blast opening my eyes again to the world around me.
- I have allowed myself to start ripping off the mask, to be vulnerable sometimes and release my inner child. The vulnerable part has been extremely difficult and I struggle with it every day but what I have found is that my interactions with people have drastically changed as I have slowly started letting out the ‘real me’. My world has exploded with some of the most amazing people as I have allowed myself to be comfortable in my own skin. Turns out people like that person far better than the one who was always trying to please everyone else.
- I got the job that I have waited my entire career for. I took a chance, stepped out of my box and explored an opportunity that, in all honesty, I didn’t think I had a snowballs chance at getting. Turns out that I was selling myself short. I love, love, love the culture of my new company. I am excited about all the new things that I get to learn and while somewhat intimidated by the new challenge I am reinvigorated and passionate about my career.
If you read my blog with any regularity, you know there is always a message. I find that sharing real life experience often makes that message resonate far more than a ‘this is what you should do’ blog.
JUST DO IT! Don’t wait. Don’t lose years and end up with an ‘I wish I would have’. Whether the changes you need to make are small ones like handling your finances more responsibly or losing a few pounds or they are big ones like a complete life overhaul – start moving forward. Start taking the steps.
It will be hard. It will require commitment. You will sometimes suffer doubt, heartache and failure in the process. Some days you will take one step forward and two steps back.
BUT – some days you will skyrocket forward. Some days the beauty of the world around you will be overwhelming. Some days you will wake up so thankful to be a part of this exciting world.
Some days, like today for me, you will believe that anything is possible.
Go for it. I dare you!