How many awesome things do you want to do with your life? Do you have a bucket list? Or a few secret dreams locked away in your brain?
And how many of them are you delaying, waiting for the right time to do them?
Here’s something I’ve realised lately: it’s easy to change your life when you cannot stand the way things are any more. It’s also easy to change your life when the time to move on naturally presents itself, thanks to some external factor.
I’m sure you’ve made some drastic changes to your live in those situations. I know I have.
Moving to a new city because you finished university. Upgrading to a better flat because your landlady gave you notice. Quitting your job because you’re going to rip your boss’s cheeks open with your ballpoint if you don’t.
It’s easy to move on to the next thing under those circumstances. Whether the motivation is internal or external, you simply don’t have a choice: something has to change.
Making a change when there’s nothing in particular driving you forward though? That’s tough.
When I was thinking about starting out as a freelance writer it was easier to keep coasting along, working a bar job and living in a cheap apartment with a couple of weirdos (seriously, who writes a cheque for 17p? and who doesn’t know how to clean puke out of a carpet – then asks you about it two days later?). And so that’s what I did, for ten long months: I didn’t start freelancing because it was easier not to. It was a scary thing to dive into and life was kind of okay as it was.
Until it wasn’t. Until I got promoted to bar manager and suddenly my boss decided in the middle of the busiest season of the year that there was a whole load of other stupid bullshit I should be doing, too. Ugh, I couldn’t stand it. And it was only then – only then – that I got my shit together and launched my freelance writing business. INSIDE A WEEK. I had my first paying client literally within days. But it had taken me ten months to get to that point, because it was easier not to.
There was this other time, too: I once moved into a catalogue-worthy flat with a pretty young blonde lass… who turned out to be fucking insane. She would slide placemats and coasters under anything and everything I left lying around. Under my laptop, guys, seriously. I don’t know if you know this, but those things have fucking rubber nubbins on the bottom. What the fuck are rubber nubbins going to do to your precious glass surface? This chick also told me I wasn’t allowed to close the curtains (I am still baffled by this). Just dumb shit like that. I managed four months in that place. It was very easy to move on to the next thing from there, I assure you.
However, when there’s something you think would be really awesome to do, but you’re living a cushty, comfortable life, there’s not much incentive for you to actually go out and do that thing. Instead you can keep putting it off and delaying it and waiting for the perfect time – or, as is often the case, waiting until you can’t continue on in your current existence any more.
But what if that time doesn’t come? What if your current existence is perfectly okay, and there’s nothing else prompting you to move on? To try something new? To change your life?
Are you doomed to live a mediocre, bland, stagnant existence forever? Simply because continuing on with the status quo is easier than pursuing your dream?
I don’t think I could stomach a life of mediocrity. I hope you couldn’t either. I hope you get to the place where you no longer need to escape – where you no longer feel the need to run away from something. And that when you get there, you keep running – on to the next thing.
Because if not now, when?