After my last post “10 Steps to Getting off the Hamster Wheel” my friend Lynn, who writes this awesome blog Not Drinking Coffee, suggested that I write about why I decided to take the step to change my life and follow my dreams.
Never in million years did I think I would end up in the corporate world. I always kept my options open and worked various jobs and freelanced so that I would have plenty of time to go travel and play. I never believed in following the traditional route and still don’t.
But then somehow when I wasn’t paying attention I ended up on the traditional route by getting a “real” job, a nice place to live, a nice car and all the stuff that comes with “growing up.” Before I knew it I found myself stuck with bills and responsibilities making it hard to survive unless I had a real job. Hence, the feeling of being stuck in a hamster wheel started. A feeling I know many experience.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with a corporate job. In matter of fact, they can be great. You learn a lot. You grow. You gain knowledge. But you also lose freedom. You only get a certain amount of weeks for vacation. Going road tripping the entire summer is out of reach. So you keep on trying to balance two worlds. The old world filled with fun and play and the new world that flies by in the speed of light because you’re so busy working almost every week out of the year!
So why did I make the decision to change my life? Because despite living a great life it is also not a life I can see myself in decade after decade. I have a great job that I love. It gives me a lot of flexibility but it doesn’t allow me to go travel for months at the time. I want to set my own schedule. My own path. I want to help others make their dream a reality. I want to become a better life and money coach. I want to start a non-profit. I want to have more time to spend with family.
It wasn’t an easy linear process. I spent years trying to figure out what passions to pursue. As you age you start thinking about things like retirement. Plus once accustomed to making a certain amount of money it’s hard to think of going back to “college day broke” and the inconsistent income freelancing or starting a business will bring so the tug-a-war of what you should do starts. During this process it’s so easy to focus on what you have instead of focusing on what you could have.
Taking the step leaving the comfort zone to pursue your dream is both thrilling and scary. But eventually you just need to say enough is enough and figure out a way to change your life and start designing it in a way that is authentic to you. Why? Because life is too short to live someone else’s dream.
I know I’m not alone in this tug-a-war of thoughts. It’s something many go through as they are trying to figure life out. I would love to hear your thoughts, comments and stories.