I came across this profound quote yesterday. It hit me like a ton of bricks, and it seemed to be the perfect piece to kick off the first blog post.
“Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.”
Wow. Just let that sink in. Really digest it. The part that really hit home for me was the phrase, “monotonous security”. Yes, that’s the thing that I was striving for most of my adult life. Get a great job with a 401K and you’ll be happy. Find the partner of your dreams and you’ll live a life of bliss. Have some kids and you’ll really feel complete. Buy a home in a safe suburb with a sense of community and you’ve found success.
Now that I’ve done all of that, I can’t help but feel like I’m completely ungrateful for having achieved society’s expectations of a “successful life” and still feeling unfulfilled. What was it? What was missing from this picture? What was wrong with me that I couldn’t feel content?
I’ll be the first to admit that I LOVE change. I thrive on continually pushing, learning, and chasing after something new. But why, when everything in my life seemed so picturesque did I feel the need to back up and reassess. I had never done that before. I had been ushered along in these steps of life in the exact order that they were supposed to happen without giving a thought of what actually made me happy, and what made me feel alive. I was not living a life of intention but rather a life of society’s ideals.
It was soon after my second child Easton was born that this all started getting to a boiling point. I had been focusing on motherhood the last few years and my internal dialogue had been almost non-existent as I went through 2 pregnancies and tackled the new life I created as a mother. The inner light within me was dimmed as the exhaustion set in. I didn’t have time for me. For my dreams. For my desires. Hell, I was lucky if I could find time to consume a warm cup of coffee.
As Easton grew, I slowly began reconnecting with myself and asking the big questions; “What does a life of intention look like to you? If there were no limits, what would you be doing right now? What does your ideal life look like?”
This probe on myself did not come out of nowhere. It was created out of that “monotonous security”. My day consisted of working my ass off, coming home to make dinner, do homework, clean the house, try to get laundry done, squeeze bath time and then go to bed and do it again the next day. Oh, but the weekends, right? You’re right, those two days that we savor! Those two days that are filled with house projects, yard work, grocery shopping, taking the car in, birthday parties, school obligations, etc. Yes, those two days that get filled so quickly you’re even more exhausted than during the work week. Oh, but vacation days, right? You’re right! I did have vacation days and I never wasted one. What concerned me was that I was going to work all the way to retirement in this routine. Every day I would say to myself, “This is not my life.” I was in complete shock that this was the American dream, for most.
Don’t get me wrong I have so much gratitude for the roof over my head, the great job, the hours of laughs with my kids, the full fridge, etc. I literally say my gratefuls daily, but what I was struggling with was that my life was unintentional, and it had started to feel too routine, too boring, and like an endless to do list. I know in my heart that I was meant for more. The security and comfort of a well manicured life is nice, but it lacks inspiration and steals your purpose one day at a time. I wasn’t going to be full of regret at 75 wishing that I had just taken the leap. I wasn’t going to work my entire life to achieve a level of success that was determined by marketing agencies rather than myself.
These are the thoughts that started this process. These are the thoughts that are changing my life.