July 18, 2013

Reader Question: How did you know when it was time to drop everything and run to the farm?

I got this question from one of my readers:
"How did you know that you wanted to drop everything and pursue what you are doing?"

This is SUCH a good question, and MY GOD I searched high and low for an answer myself!

For me, it didn't happen in one moment... It happened over time. But there were three things that pushed me over the edge:
1. Being single again after a 2-year relationship. It was liberating because for the first time in a long time, I could do whatever I wanted to. My ex wasn't a bad guy or controlling or anything like that... He was a wonderful guy, and I truly did love him. But generally, once you're in a relationship, you can't just do what you want without checking in with your partner first, especially if what you're going to do would impact your partner or the relationship. Being single again gave me complete freedom that helped pushed me towards what I'm doing now. 
2. Considering death as an option. One morning, I woke up and thought, "How do I feel about sitting in a cubicle for the next 35 years and doing software consulting?" The answer was, "I'd rather kill myself now and get it over with." Not that I was *actually* suicidal... But the mere fact that the thought occurred to me made me realize that if I was already considering death, I might as well at least *try* to build a different life. When you have considered death as an option, then you really don't have anything to lose by trying something else, right?
3. My Mustang. When I bought my Mustang, a dream I've had since I was 12 was realized. I never thought this would happen. But when it did, I began to question whether the other things I thought were impossible were really impossible. If I got Mustang, maybe I could get the other things in life I want?  And I don't mean material things. I mean things and experiences that touch your soul and bring you a deep sense of joy. The car is a material object - but what I love about it is how I feel when I am in it driving! I didn't get it to show off or raise my perceived status (not that it would... It's a 23 year-old Mustang! Lol) I got it because driving it feels so very liberating!

Another thing... Life isn't a standardized test... So there's no way to really draw up a list of pros and cons to concretely decide whether to change and restructure your life. You can't study and take in information and intellectualize this decision.

Frankly, it all comes down to a word I HATED for many years because of its religious undertones. 

Faith. 

You can draw up lists, plan, analyze for all different outcomes, plan for worst-case scenarios... But in the end? You really have to close your eyes, jump off that metaphorical cliff, and trust that everything will be OK and that you'll get what you need in life. 

And something I have to remind myself of... Is that life will give you what you need - but it may not necessarily be what you want!

To break it down to two simple points... Here's how I knew when I was ready to take the leap:
1. My current life was so unsatisfying and stressful and draining that I couldn't take it anymore.
2. The faith I had that things could be fulfilling began to outweigh the loss of security I'd potentially experience by taking my leap.

I hope that answers your question!