So I just turned 27 a couple of days ago and life has been quiet interesting. Let me first give you some background information so that you have a better understanding of where I’m coming from with this absurd title.
I promised myself towards the end of my 26th year that I wanted the next chapter of my life to be one where I would make bold moves (cue in “Grown Woman” by Beyoncé). I was tired of living a life that felt like a routine because I felt that there’s more to life than what I had been living and I knew that getting to the next level meant leaving behind what’s familiar. On January 10th, 2019 I said goodbye to a city that had been home for over 12 years and boarded a plane to a new city where the only familiar faces I knew were those of my father and step-mother who had also recently moved there. I left two stable jobs that I had been at for years, family and friends who mean the world to me and a community that I had invested in with all that I was. I had lived on my own for years and my independence became one of the most valuable aspect of my life. One of the hardest parts of this decision was therefore saying goodbye to the one place that I was proud to call my own, my apartment. It had been my safe haven for years, the one place that I had gone through some of the most happiest and saddest seasons of my life so far. My apartment walls had become my companions in times where I had shut the world out and I now had to close the door on that chapter and get re-acquainted with a way of living that I had become a stranger to.
My main aim in making this move was to live a lifestyle that gave me the flexibility of being on the go without being tied down to an apartment or a job that required me to be physically present (the Eat. Pray. Love. sorta lifestyle). I wanted to travel and gain “life experience” outside of the routine that I had been accustomed to over the years, I wanted to stretch myself beyond what I thought I was capable of and see how it turned out. Almost half of my year as a 26-year-old was spent thinking of ways I could live my life differently and I was determined to turn those thoughts into a reality when the time came. The opportunity came when my father insisted I move and stay with him (he was armed with points that I could not say no to). It felt like it was all meant to be and my “best life” was just an arm’s length away, all I needed to do was close my eyes and make the jump. So I jumped and finally landed in British Columbia.
I’ve been in my new home for a little over 3 weeks and reality has definitely been hitting me hard in the face. The first two weeks were fairytale like as I had loved ones come out from other cities to usher in my 27th born day celebration. The hype was real and I enjoyed every moment of it. Fast forward to a week later and they’re gone and life is staring me straight in the eye. I came here with plans that aren’t going as I thought they would and I no longer have a way of avoiding it as I did when I was going through the hype. I’ve been feeling conflicted in regards to what steps to take next, part of me is saying that I’m over thinking things as I haven’t been here long enough to be this alarmed while the other part says the opposite. The 9-5 life is an option that is open but how can I go back to the same life routine that I had sacrificed everything to leave behind? All I can think of is that I need some sort of clarity on what to do!
I think one of the hardest parts of deciding to live life in an unconventional way is knowing that you’ll not have many tangible things to show for it. You constantly have to fight the urge of going back to what’s familiar for the sake of your sanity. A job, a physical space, people, a habit, whatever gives you a sense of stability and comfort. It will seem like your life is in a stand still while the rest of the world is progressing. Things that you never quiet cared for in the past will seem like absolute necessities. You’ll browse through social media and start comparing your life with your peers (even though you know it’s not right!) who seem to be doing everything then some while you’re still playing tug of war with the thoughts in your mind. One day you’re completely aligned with your purpose and know exactly what to do then you’re completely overwhelmed by the “ifs” and “buts” of life the following. The one thing you seek the most in all this is clarity…..wait a minute….Maybe clarity is overrated!!!!
Light bulb moment!
Steve Maraboli said that, “It’s a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal.” Though I agree with Steve to a certain extent, I’m learning through personal experience that some of my most profound personal epiphanies have taken place during times of complete mental chaos. I have found that parts of myself that I didn’t know existed often get activated during times where I’m feeling completely lost. I am able to look at things from a perspective that forces me to acknowledge my situation and deal with it accordingly. Even in my chaos I see lessons that I can take. One thing I’ve realized is that we sometimes cover up our own need to obsessively micromanage of our lives with the word “clarity”. We feel the need to plan everything out and to make sure that everything goes according to that plan and if it doesn’t then we make plan b’s, c’s, d’s, e’s………..all this in order to make sure that we are still in the pilot’s seat and anything that happens isn’t a surprise.
I’m learning that I have to know that I’m whole even when things don’t necessarily add up. My self-evaluation of my worth should in no way be determined by the level of clarity I feel about the course my life is taking. It’s OK and NECESSARY to lose grip at times as this becomes the catalyst that helps us understand that life is so much more than plans that have to be perfectly executed. Lack of clarity can be the very thing that needs to happen to us so that we are awakened to the journey of learning and unlearning. Lack of clarity might just lead us to a path we would never have the courage to trek and that in itself might be the clarity we needed all along!