Life was good.
I had a great job made even better with coworkers I also called friends and access to the best pilates instructor in the city.
I had just moved into a new apartment with my friend named Steph and we found every reason under the sun to open a bottle of wine. I was learning things and reading books and my gym membership was actually getting used on a regular basis.
Like I said, life was good.
But I put it all on hold and went to New Zealand – and not because I was bored or thought there was “more to life.” I simply needed to give those motha fuckinn dreams of mine a shot.
But the thing is, who cares. I don’t think I’m unique or notable for making this decision. People do this all the time. Thousands upon thousands of people reach a point in their life where they decide to do something differently. And sometimes that means they hop a plane and go become one with nature. Sometimes it means they move cities or jobs or apartments. The Friday dinner venue. Whatever. People make changes. This article isn’t about whether or not I’m cool or interesting for having a big, bold idea and seeing it through. This article is simply about the fact that sometimes people quit their jobs to see the world and sometimes people don’t. And that’s fine.
I think our world has made it very challenging to live your life without thinking you’re not doing enough. Without obsessing over being young and wild and free and living life to the absolute fullest- because your Instagram is full of #Wanderlust and #Yolo and photos of people spinning through fields of wildflowers and dreams.
YOU EITHER LIVE AN ADVENTURE OR YOU DON’T LIVE AT ALL!
SING LIKE NOBODY’S LISTENING!
And obviously these are powerful and inspirational and yes, I absolutely believe in living life as hard as you can. However, I also think this obsession with making life a big, bold adventure can make life itself kind of stressful. Because now you’re wondering if you’re living on the edge enough. If you’re throwing enough caution to the wind and being the right amount of crazy.
So after already feeling a bit like a fuck up after your LuluLemon bag reminded you that you’re supposed to do one thing a day that scares you and you’re unsure if you’ve accomplished that yet today, you go online and every article popping up on your Newsfeed seems to be called something along the lines of “why quitting my job to travel the world changed my life.”
“I gave everything up and have never been happier”
And sometimes sure, these articles can be quite powerful and full of insight. And other times they’re really over the top or poorly titled or feel a bit one sided- as if you’ve failed by not taking their advice. By not “living your passion”.
And like, fuck man. Life is hard enough as is. So why are we so obsessed with making it harder? By acting like everyone should want to live in a treehouse and do yoga balanced on a tiny log in the ocean? And if you don’t want to do that, well! Where’s your zest for life? Where’s that free-spirit that everyone’s after?
And it goes both ways. For every “I gave up everything and have never been happier” article there’s one called “Why quitting my job to travel was the biggest mistake of my life”. Or “Thinking of pulling a #YOLO? Think again”.
It’s like someone decided somewhere along the way that humans were no longer able to grasp how to function in this world without “reading this first” and getting enlightened by other peoples’ experiences and cautionary tales. As if we can’t make any changes in our lives without first being told every single pro and con from every single person who has ever tried something similar. I have met a ton of people during my travels who quit something or left something and it changed their life. It made them better. I have also met a lot of people who are forging ahead, full of questions and regret and insecurities. And that’s the thing. Everyone is going to have their own experience within their own circumstances. My experience is actually pretty meaningless in helping dictate what yours will look like.
So I think my point is this: there are so many things in this world to be passionate about. And yeah, sometimes living out these passions involve big, bold moves. Changing up your life and falling asleep to ocean waves. Sometimes living out your passion might simply mean you wake up and go to brunch with a group of people that you happen to be super passionate about. Who cares. Either way, if you feel good about it, then you’re doing it right.
I don’t think it’s true that ‘a life without adventure is no life at all’. You don’t need to ‘sing like no one’s listening’ if you don’t want to. (I mean, I personally choose to sing this way because how else am I going to be discovered by the next Les Mis casting agent, but that’s just me. It doesn’t have to be your style, too.)
Just do whatever makes you feel good and find passion in whatever it is you happen to be passionate about. That doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong and it doesn’t make you boring. It actually makes you pretty fucking rad for just being who you are.