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.
Man, this world is crazy!
The universe truly works in mysterious ways. For me, the date of August 1st is significant. Whether I do it subconsciously or not is up for debate but apparently I like to make the biggest decisions of my life on August 1st. Here’s a run down:
- Leave Herndon, Virginia to live in Wilmington, North Carolina. 18 years old, first time away from home and on my own. I would return 6 months later… too hot in the kitchen for this kid to handle.
- Wake up one morning in Virginia with a big questions on my mind. “What the hell am I doing with my life?” The next day I packed up the Geo Tracker, left town, and headed to the left coast. Sunny Southern California. 20 years old, it was time for this kid to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Challenges await and personal growth to be had.
- Was working my regular shift at work and decided it was time to shake things up a bit. Things had gotten a bit stale, I was complacent and getting to comfortable. Something needed to change. The remedy… a trip around the world.
- Adopt the cutest little guy in the world…. What? It might not be a kid but taking care of a living being is a huge responsibility and a big decision.
- Quit my full-time job, steady paycheck, and security. Sell my car, some clothes (thanks buffalo exchange), electronics and other stuff I don’t need. In favor of a job I love, not so steady paycheck, no security. A motorcycle instead of a car, 10 shirts, two pairs of pants, some shorts, and a whole lotta books.
There you have it. My August firsts the last few years. Funny how the Universe conspires stuff like that huh?
Why the need for change?
Whoa… what a loaded question right? I’ve mentioned it before but it really comes down to three things and I think Daniel Pink did an excellent job detailing it in his book Drive:
- Autonomy: the desire to direct our own lives.
- Mastery: a strong urge to make progress and improve in an area you are interested and you find meaningful.
- Purpose: a relentless pursuit or belief in doing something that serves a greater purpose than us.
These were my wants.
I want to be able to dictate all my ups and downs, success and failures, the path my life follows.
I want to constantly be challenging myself. Improving on my weaknesses while playing to my strengths. To do things that matter to me and that I am completely invested in.
I want to do something that matters. Not just to me but for the universe as a whole. You have a unique gift to offer this world. It’s a disservice if you do not share it.
However, these three wants are only part of the equation. Autonomy + Mastery + Purpose = Happiness
Everything I did revolved around Happiness. I said I needed more money. I said I needed to travel the world. I said I needed to quit my job. I said I needed more free time.
All of these things I said I needed I only said for one reason… I thought they would bring me more happiness.
Nearly everything we do in life is related to it. We eat certain foods because they make us happier, we want more money so we can buy more things which we thing will make us happier, we want to quit our jobs and have more free time so that we can do things that make us happier.
So why the need for change? I simply needed to be HAPPIER.
What needed to change?
Ok, so here’s the funny part. I was blaming everything, everyone, and the kitchen sink for not having the level of happiness I desired. I blamed my job, I blamed my finances, I blamed my girlfriend, I blamed the amount of free time or lack there of that I had. You name it… I was blaming it.
The fact of the matter is that nothing needed to change except for myself. I was the one that needed to change. It was time to stop playing the victim and take responsibility for the person I was and the person I was going to be.
The cool thing about life is that we always have a choice. I chose my job, my friends, to go to bed way too late and wake up way to early, to buy an expensive truck that cost and arm and a leg to fill up, and to buy things I didn’t need.
Now having a choice doesn’t mean there will not be repercussions and you might not always like the outcome but there is always a choice. You can choose the food you eat, the job you take, the exercise you get, the people you spend time with, which all essentially adds up to you choosing the quality of your life. The outcome of those decisions might not always play in your favor but again: there is a choice in the matter.
Some of you might be shaking your head and saying “Justin… you’re full of hogwash. I don’t always have a choice”. I’m going to be brutally honest right here. Until you realize you do there is a good chance you will never truly get to where you want to be.
I recently had a conversation with a friend the other day who was expressing his desire to do work he loved and found meaningful. He said this to me.
“Justin, I wish I could just quit on a drop of a dime like that, make changes, and do somethings I really want to do. But I have kids, a house, bills…”
I couldn’t really argue with him. I don’t have anyone of those things (except a few small bills). I have chosen not to. His situation is much tougher than mine. But the fact remains that he can still make changes that get him and his family closer to a life that emphasizes the things that make them happiest. Maybe not at the drop of a hat but over time it is possible.
What really goes on is that we are afraid to give up things we already have. Things that make us feel safe, comfortable, and secure. He has the choice to sell his house and the family could stay with relatives or a motor home while pursuing a purpose. Don’t think so? Well this guy and his family did.
I can see some of your cringe as I type that. Hell, it made me a little uncomfortable just writing it. It’s not that you couldn’t do it. It’s that you don’t want to. It’s hard, and uncomfortable. So was quitting my job and selling my car.
I want to be clear. It’s not easy. Nor should it be. But guess what? You’ll figure it out.
How I did it
Now before I dive in some of what has been written might not resonate with some of you and that’s ok. None of us are cut from the same mold and we all have different virtues, beliefs, and desires. For some “the script” we are supposed to follow is ok. The security, the comfort, the just good enough will do.
But for some of us it is not. I’m one of those people and if you are still reading with me chances are you are too.
Truth be told it may have seemed like all of this was a change at the drop of a hat but it was actually a work in progress for about a year.
The first thing I asked myself was: what do I really need? This will be different for everyone as we all have unique situations. This step is extremely tough and requires you to be very honest with yourself. The idea of giving up things that make life a little more comfortable can be overwhelming. Here is what I asked myself.
Q: Do I need my car?
A: Nope. I currently am able to walk to work, bike to the grocery store, and to the bank if needed. A means of transportation would be nice in case of emergency so I decided to use the money from the sale of my car to buy a motorcycle. The rest put into an account in case of an emergency.
Dilema (The what if game): What if it rains, what if I have to move, what if I (insert a million different things right here).
My answer: I’ll figure it out.
Q: Do I make enough money with doing the work that I love to support myself if I leave my current job?
A: Yes but not in the way that I thought. Instead of taking a look at how much I was making I decided to take a look at how much I was spending. Turns out that I was spending $400 dollars a month of gas, $120 on car insurance, $50 on a membership I was not using, $100 on DirecTV, $400 on groceries (I love WholeFoods), $60 on a gardener, another $150 on a personal service. YIKES!
With no truck I was eliminating $350 in gas, my insurance was cut in half with a motorcycle, I cancelled that membership, cut some services on DirecTV (I have roommates and they wanted to keep it to save $20, starting shopping more frugally and at cheaper groceries stores with a specific list grocery list based on exactly what I eat each week (saved $150), no more gardener, and cancelled the personal service.
Total savings: $840/month
I could now make $840 less per month and live comfortably. It takes some creativity and discipline to really evaluate what you really need and what you do not. If you try this you will most often find yourself making excuses for why you need the television, certain foods, the car, a membership, or what ever else it might be. This is one of the hardest steps to act on.
Q: What is my worst-case scenario if I fail?
A: I have to leave California and move back home. But guess what? I continue to do the work that I love. Personally, I believe that the universe has a way of rewarding those that are serving their life’s purpose. Case in point. After I announced I was leaving my job within a week I had added three more clients and 2 more short-term gigs. Most of these opportunities came through my former employer. Another reason it is extremely important that if you are leaving your current job to leave on good terms. There is no reason to burn bridges. I for one did not hate my job. It was easy, paid me well, and I loved the people I worked with. It just wasn’t want I needed to be doing in life to make me happy.
Long story short. If you are pursuing what you enjoy most in life you can’t fail.
Sometimes you need to get rid of your chicken gate
I’m sure most of you have been on a roller coaster before. Well, you know how when you get to the top and it’s time to get on you are given the option to either get on the ride or take a sharp left under the velvet rope and make your way back down. I like to call that the “chicken gate.”
I’m a firm believer that if you are given two options you will never truly be dedicated to one. In my case this was work. I had been toiling with my side project for sometime now but never really fully invested myself in it. I kept myself from doing so because I always had something to fall back on.
I liken it to a crutch. When you break your foot you’re given a crutch to help you walk. It makes you feel safe and secure. But what happens if someone kicks that crutch out from under you? You’re left to hop around. You have to figure it out. Sure it may be tough, but before you know if you’re hopping around like a champ and the cast comes off at the same time regardless if you had used a crutch or not.
What to expect
I’ll just briefly touch on this real quick as I have only noticed one big significant change since I started to pursue my purpose full-time.
Most people are very excited for you but think you’re nuts!
Most of the people closet to me were happy I was pursuing the life I wanted to live but often would tell me that I was not being “realistic” and that there are to many risks involved. I would just remind myself that this was only because they loved me and wanted me to be safe and secure. I would simply say thank you to them and I appreciated their concern. And I really did. It was nice to know that those that mean the most to me care enough to voice their opinion and apprehensions.
It’s very difficult to go against the grain. At a young age your entire life is shaped and molded based on a certain path you are expected to take. The school, the job, the 2.5 kids, and the house to go with it. Work hard, get annual pay raises, and do your best to retire at the ripe old age of 65 (although this keeps going up).
It just so happens that I’m not interested in that. Sorry.
I wish there was something profound that I could say here but the only thing I have is the truth… hard work. That’s what’s next. I said it at the beginning of this article and I’ll say it again.
It’s not usually less work that you want. It’s usually more work that you love.
I will constantly be keeping three things in mind as I continue on this journey.
- Do I really need more money or do I need to spend less?
- Do I really need more time or do I need to evaluate where I am spending it?
- I don’t know what to do or I am not an expert. Just get started, I’ll figure it out.
Imagine if Stevie Wonder never shared his gift of music with us, Picasso decided not to paint, Or if the Wright brothers gave in to all their failures of flight and decided to give up.
I have a unique gift to offer to this world and so do you. It would be a shame to go an entire lifetime without sharing it… don’t you think?
What are you waiting for?
Photo by Vee-vee
Scribd is a ticket to endless knowledge and entertainment. This unlimited subscription service has been described as the "Netflix for books" because it gives access to millions of audiobooks, ebooks, magazines, comics, and sheet music selections. You can try Scribd free with a 30-day trial. Click here to learn more about Scribd.
Follow us on Instagram
46 thoughts on “Getting Comfortable With the Uncomfortable: My Journey to Being Who I Always Wanted to Be”
Nicely put. I agree totally with everything you said. Most people would verbally agree, but few have the courage to follow through
Thank you so much for taking the time to read. We call have the ability it’s just a matter of understanding we are capable.
Sometimes you need to lose sight of the shore in order to discover new oceans! Great article.
Good article…could you really afford SoCal when you were 20?
Absolutely. When you go for things I am a firm believer in “you’ll figure it out.”
Good for you Justin! Thanks for your story showing how we can live our dreams if we make the effort…and in the end that “effort” is usually easier (and happier) than living a mediocre life! It’s always great to hear how many others are doing it too….
Thank you for the support. It’s great that Peter gives us the opportunity here to share it with others. Sometimes the best thing is to see others doing it
I believe it was Steven Pressield in the book “The War of Art” who wrote, “The most treasonous thing a crab can do is make a leap for the rim of the bucket.” I’ve also heard the analogy of a family of ducks living in a polluted pond and one decides to fly away and search for a new home.
Either way, you’re right – there are people around you who will question your sanity, in most cases because they don’t have the courage to take that leap, and feel more justified in that non-action if they can convince others the status quo is best.
If you’re having trouble making that leap, find like-minded people who will support your dreams.
One of my favorite books ever! A big inspiration of mine along with Julien Smiths
Thanks for sharing your insight. I love the duck analogy :)
You gave me alot of insights on life. Taking responsibility for the person i was and the person i am going to be. Thank you Justin Miller
Absolutely brotha! Awareness is that first step
Justin, simply a brilliant post. Thanks for the reminder of why I live my life the way I do.
You mention: “The what if game”. It is so easy to delay living life when one gets bogged down in that game. For those that believe in themselves, your answer “I’ll figure it out.” is spot on.
I have just taken on a new project in life – one for which I have no experience, no knowledge, no skills and no tools. The decision to take it on was simple once I skipped the ‘what if game’ and went directly to ‘I’ll figure it out’. I know that I will. Even if I don’t figure it out, then I can be happy in knowing that I tried and will forego the future regret of not trying.
And for me, as I approach my 50th birthday, it will be a case of an old dog learning new tricks. I can’t wait for this incredible learning journey.
If you have time shoot me an email. I’d love to hear more about this leaP you are taking. That stuff fires me up. You have a wonderful spirit. I love how you approach this is as a learning experience.
Synchronicity is such a beautiful thing. I stumbled upon ur article and it resonated with me so well. My dream is to be an actress and I trust its coming into fruitation but obviously there are the bumps in the road on the way. Yor article explains exactly what I am
going through right now in the early stages of doing it. I decided okay I’m going to Toronto. Some people are nervous for me but my being says its time to Go. It’s time walk in your light, stop being shy and share your light with the world… So I’m doing it. Your article gave me that extra push and you presented the right words that hit the right nerves. Thank you.
So glad you are embarking on the path you were destined for. Not many people can do that so I applaude you. Don’t be a stranger. I’d love to hear an update… Or an autograph :)
I loved your blog post. It was the first that really spelt out what a lot of other people tried to say as well, only you did it better than most. I’ve been there where you have been and done that, several times and I recognised all the steps you mentioned and the uncertainties but also the feeling of freedom and of ‘living’ again.
I am going through one of those big changes just now. Left a job I even liked after twelve years with nowhere to go except doing something else. It is an uncomfortable feeling but one that I rather have as opposed to “what if…?” feeling.
I wish you all the best
I’m glad the post resonated with you. It makes my day when someone describes your work the way you just did. I hope you are on a wonderful journey as well
Seriously inspiring post! Absolutely loved this.. great to get an insight into your background and its awesome to see that you have taken the leap!
Keep it up and I’m EXCITED for what’s next :)
Thank you brotha :)
You me about a man who quit money. (http://www.becomingminimalist.com/the-man-who-quit-money-an-interview-with-daniel-suelo/) Basically he went through the same thing as you except he gave away everything. Perhaps you’ve heard of him?
Whoa. I’m reading it now. Thank you :)
Haven’t found the dream job that will make me give up the “put the money in the 401k” job yet, when I do I’m all over it! You did remind me of the 10 years I spent at home with my two girls instead of working. We did not have the fanciest house and we did thrift sale clothes but I had the precious time with my daughters while they were growing. Would not trade that for anything.
Awareness and assessing your situation is key. Glad to hear you and your ladies had an amazing growth together
Four months ago I left a job that I had no real problems with. It was the right job for the kind of life that is expected for an engineer and the pay was good enough for me and a big raise was on its way. My coworkers were happy with my work and by bosses trusted enough in my capacities to assign me task after task. I thought everything was ok.
Suddenly I realized that my job was consuming my life, I was gaining a lot of weight and I felt that every day was exactly the same as the day before. I felt that my life was slipping through my fingers.
So I started exercising and eating healthier, I started leaving the office at no later than 6:30pm to go jogging and it payed off on my personal life because I began to lose weight, but the professional life started to suffer.
I realized that the only reward I was getting out of this absorbing job was money and that it was not worth it. So I talked to my boss and said: “I’m leaving in two months”.
I have found a less demanding job, the pay is a bit less, but I don’t need a lot so it is enough. I have lost interest in the accumulation of material things and I’m trying to find a job that I love.
This is now my purpose: to find a job that I love. The good thing is that I now have the time to do it, I have lost 45 pounds, I don’t worry about the latest gadget and I’m more focused on a purpose.
I keep asking Life for a hint cause I have no idea what is it that I could do that I love and that is profitable :) but I feel lighter, not only physically but also spiritually. I love the feeling!!
That is an amazing story. Awesome that you have lost all that weight and feel so much lighter physically and spiritually. Getting past that “money” thing :) is so tough. It provides a sense of safety and security and it really is a part of our nature to want that feeling.
So about that job you love. Stop asking life for a hint and just ask yourself.
What do you know?
What are you good at?
What are you passionate about?
Start there. But some other things that might help. What does is something everyone asks your help for right now? What do you help people with for free right now?
Hopefully that helps a little bit. Feel free to give me a shout anytime.
Loved your post.
I wanted to share a situation where i was forced to give up everything because of a disaster.
It was an earthquake.
The bldg collapsed where i worked where i was forced to unemployment.
I went through a horrific time when i lost my job, luckily i had a substantial savings and was giving a good severence pkg,
The bldg collapsed where i lived i was homeless, lived in my car for two weeks until it was safe for me to enter my bldg.
I was among several others who went through the same.
On top of it my relationship ended when the man i was with for several yrs, decided he didn’t want to move with me, i had enough with everything i went through and wanted out of there.
So i moved with a friend and started all over with nothing, had to make new friends, a new job, it was great i kept telling myself until i finally believed it, and was able to let go of the life i had which was great, it threw me for a loop and i was devasted by the change i had to make, but in the end i did end up with a life that was ten times better than i could of imagined, i met a great man got married, traveled everywhere, had a great career, and was happier than i could ever be.
So the moral is you might have to suffer some to make the change but there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
Thanks for taking the time out to share your story. I literally got the goose-bumps reading it :) So happy to hear that you are stronger and happier than ever!
I don’t know if you take time to read the feedback from the comments but i hope you do, your blog entries are inspiring yes, but what really set’s you apart for me and i think for others is that your articles relate and resonate with people on a personal level some times maybe closer than we even want it to, this article made me cry and i can’t begin to state why and how it did but it spoke to on a level so deep it felt like a preacher. i just want to affirm what you already know, that you have a purpose and though you might not be getting a fraction of what you deserve yet, you are impacting lives half way across the globe. By God’s grace i have 3 months left to earn my bachelors and i share dreams not too far from yours, dreams so crazy many people seem not to get a hang of them but with your blog to draw from i too will reach for my dreams perhaps sooner than i ever thought or at least be happy while am at it. cheers and best of luck in all that you do
I am unbelievably moved by your words. Thank you for taking the time to read and write a comment. I definitely read the feedback. Peter did me a favor by letting me tell my story here and it would be disservice to him if I did not respond to readers that are visiting his site.
I like to consider myself a passionate person. Somedays more so than others but comments like yours make it easy to roll with the punches and help to understand I am doing the right things. We’re all on this journey together.
I wish you all the best in your adventures and don’t ever hesitate to contact me if you ever want to shoot the breeze. I live for connection.
thanks for taking your time to reply , I would sure love to stay connected. do you have any blog i can subscribe to, or if you have a Facebook page i can subscribe to or add you as a friend if that’s not too personal for you, my Facebook name is Gilbert Ukor-Ayem will be glad if we do stay connected.thanks again.
I can’t properly express how much I appreciate your blog. I’m 21 years old at the moment, and I would say mostly this year, I have become practically consumed with constantly thinking about my life and what I want to change, and that “purpose” I am searching for. By “purpose” though, I’m talking about that ongoing feeling of that hole in my life that I just can’t seem to work out what it is, or what I am trying to fill. All this time, I wasn’t too sure if I have been going through a “phase” or am suffering from some sort of mild depression, but all I know is that I’ve been unhappy and cant stop thinking about my life and future. I’m very analytical about my life, always making new considerations for change on a daily basis. I’m extremely hard working and always seek new challenges as I really want to reach my potential, but over the past few months I have experienced a strong belief that I am worth so much more than where I am right now.
Since I finished high school at 18 (I’m from Australia, so “Year 12”), I went straight into University with a scholarship, and was Valedictorian for my year level. I felt like I was perfectly on track for the “Go to uni, get a great job and live happily ever after” path. I did not expect my life to be where it is today. Over the past 3 and a half years, I have changed my degree, deferred semesters (and failed them for deferring late), failed units (for lack of attendance despite A grades) and I have one year left until completing my degree (a B.A. – which isn’t the greatest for job prospects, but it is what I enjoy) – where I would be lucky to finish with a GPA of 50.
Having said this, my life since 18 then has been non-stop. I have formed an amazing friendship group during this time who are all amazing, unique individuals who have opened me up to many new experiences, I have travelled to New Zealand and Thailand, have worked in 6 different jobs – but usually multiple jobs at one time, including night shift work at a casino as a table games dealer (something I never thought I’d be capable of doing) [2 years]; telemarketing for a short while [6 months]; working with world vision [2 months]; continuing with my job at Target which I have had since I was 15 and still have now, and my new role at a gym as a membership consultant (after a promotion from a receptionist) [9 months] and done other things (like DJ’ing). Throughout this period, I have probably committed to full time hours on average (including many 50hr+ weeks) but without the FT benefits, had a 1 year long relationship with a girl who was my best friend who I was in love with for years prior (and never thought would happen – but has since ended, though on good terms), whilst maintaining a busy social life putting my friends first, and trying to commit to full time uni. I have also stupidly fallen into an out of control debt across a loan and a few credit cards. I suppose bills; a car; fines; holidays; partying; concerts; generous spending on 21st gifts; weekends away; interstate trips; and purchasing materialistic, unnecessary items (that never get used) will do this to you.
I can safely say I have reached that stage where I am definitely ready for change, and I am not at all afraid to jump out of my comfort zone. Also, I do not regret at all for a second anything I have done, as even though it would have been more convenient to control my spending, stick to one job, save money and finish my degree with good grades (and most likely get into a full time graduate role like many of my friends have done this year) – I would be a completely different person today if I had followed that path, and chances are I wouldn’t be searching for much purpose at all or even analyse my life much at all, because that way it self would be a comfortable life. I suppose the problem for me is my indecisiveness, not knowing specifically what I want to do and wanting to do absolutely everything; and my lack of action up until this point. (i.e. “I can’t find the time” to clean my room; sell un-used valuable items; get fitter; sit down and properly think about what I want to do, etc.)
But I know that in fact I can and I just need to do it.
I am a strong believer that our minds and the universe are strongly intertwined and have experienced so many things (throughout most of my life so far actually) that have been a direct result of my wants, desires, emotions, thoughts, ideas, etc. being responded to by the universe. (“the Secret”)
Your post has inspired me because when reading it, it was like reading what I hear my conscience tell me every day, but never manage to act on it. I’ve also asked myself all of the questions you have mentioned, but I don’t usually listen to the answer. By writing this now, I am promising to find my purpose, change my life and get to that happiness stage that I greatly desire. I suppose I really need to just START changing and listening to that voice in my head who constantly tells me what I need to make me happy.
Sorry bout the rambling, but ultimately – love your work, I think it is great that you have shared this, you have already made an impact on my life. I look forward to following your path and stories, so thank you so much!
No such thing as rambling. Very honorable for you to share your story here with everyone.
It sounds like you’ve had some wonderful experiences already and I’m glad you don’t regret them. No such thing. Only learning experiences.
This is my key take away from what you wrote.
“I suppose the problem for me is my indecisiveness, not knowing specifically what I want to do and wanting to do absolutely everything; and my lack of action up until this point.”
You’re not alone buddy. I and I know many others can relate. I want to do EVERYTHING as well. The best thing is to ask yourself what is the most important thing to you right now? Focus on that and that alone. What can you do right now that brings you closer to experiencing that goal? Once you’ve conquered that move on to the next one.
It’s just to easy to feel overwhelmed by everything that we need up getting started on nothing. Think about single-tasking instead of multi-tasking for the time being. I’d rather do one thing 100% than 10 at 5%.
Best of luck to you on your journey of self discovery. I’ll be honest here, I’m 32 now and I don’t think you ever truly figure it out. We’re human and constantly evolving. Embrace the only thing that is certain in this universe and that thing is change.
This is an incredible story. I like it when you shift your focus from how much money you’ve made to how much money you’ve spent. It seems like you have realized that things can be constraining. Things can suck up our freedom.
Thanks for taking the time to read Eugene. It means a lot to me. I appreciate the support as well :)
Thanks for taking the time to read Eugene. It means a lot to me. I appreciate the support as well :)
Thanks Justin, I appreciate your response. :)
Very inspiring Justin Thank you for sharing, its so refreshing when you hear someone say whats in your head out loud! I wish you all the best, blessings.
Thanks for taking time out of your day to read. It’s greatly appreciated.
Great article Justin. Just took a suitcase, my guitar and a backpack with everything I need and probably some stuff I don’t and moved to New York to pursue music. Hoping that “I’ll figure it out” haha. Take care.
Congrats Mike! You’ll figure it our brotha :) Where’d you move from?
I really loved this post. I feel like most people are constantly looking for an excuse as to why they aren’t happy… and it usually sounds like the universe has conspired against them ever getting a “break.” This always makes me uncomfortable, because I don’t want to be someone who doesn’t have empathy for hard situations, but I find it very difficult to hear anything but “it’s not my fault I don’t have the life I want” which instantly translates to “if you DO have the life you want, you must have been much luckier than me.” And as a person who is trying really hard to pursue a satisfying life full of passion and bravery, it’s hard to hear this and not feel the need to defend myself. Like… I’ve struggled and been really REALLY ridiculously broke. And I had to look at some dark aspects of my own self in order to even see how badly I wanted the life I’ve built over the last few years, doing what I love (I’m a personal trainer in NYC). It was great to hear your story, and as a fellow blogger I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your honesty and voice.
Thanks for taking time out of your day to read it. I read your bio. My best friend played soccer at Syracuse a few years back. Cold as all get up… I applaud you for growing up there :)
I feel ya. Sometimes I feel like I’m not a very sympathetic person but it’s just that I want people to realize they are so much stronger than they realize. Something bad happened, but now what? What are you going to do about it. Easier said than done some times but it can be done.
Very inspiring post.
I am about to embark on my own journey to pursue my dream of being a professional musician.
I’m 45, have had the same career for 20 years and my innermost gut tells me it’s time. Time to pursue, time to believe in the gift I was given as a songwriter, time to live the life I always dreamed of.
It’s not easy. In fact I find it mildly terrifying, but we only have one life …
So thanks again for furthering my inspiration.
Congratulations and best of luck to you! I get the goosebumps just hearing someone say they are pursuing their dreams. What made you realize this was the right time?
The right time is now after my life has had huge changes:
5 years ago my father passed away. 6 months afterwards my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She passed away 3 years ago. Both died very young. During my mother’s illness my 17-year relationship was falling apart and we ended up divorcing 2 years ago. I was also using drugs and alcohol to the point of serious dependence. I was numbing the pain of so much loss.
A year and a half ago I had an epiphany after a massive drug and alcohol binge – I had to change and get my life moving forward in a positive direction. I quit drugs, I stopped drinking.
Soon after I met the love of my life. We recently got married and we are a huge support for each others dreams, mine being the pursuit of playing music. I’ve never felt to sure of the timing, and so sure of the belief that I can do it, and being comfortable with whatever happens, happens.
I figure I’ve figured it out to this point, so I’ll figure it all out in the end.
I also take inspiration from my parents. Their last Christmas gift to me was a microphone mounted on a wooden stand that my father built. My mother had it engraved with the words : “Follow your heart. Chase your dreams”
I’m listening to their words these days.
Thanks for reading Justin, good luck to all.
“The right time is now after my life has had huge changes”
Good answer :)
The last paragraph gave me goosebumps. Thank you for sharing that with me. I appreciate it brotha!