There’s this saying that people don’t change… you know, the whole “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” thing. And this post isn’t meant to dispute that.
Hell, I don’t think I could even if I wanted to.
But while people can’t change fundamentally, I truly believe that people can change their approach to situations based on their experiences.
Let me explain: life is really great at throwing curve balls at us and if we, as humans, aren’t meant to adapt, learn, and grow then we’d constantly make the same mistakes and end up where we’ve always been.
Sure, this happens when people refuse to give into and embrace new emotions but, in my experience, it’s rare that people stay stuck in situations they’re unhappy with. Typically they’ve gone through heartbreak and/or made mistakes, they learn from it and if given a similar opportunity in the future, they’ll take from the past and approach it differently.
To me, this directly connects to something I’ve always believed in – Fate /life/whatever gives us what we need exactly when we need it.
When I moved to Nashville, I moved bright-eyed and honestly without any sort of survival mechanism inside of me. Sure, I moved to GVSU and met friends, figured out how to feed myself, and so on. But it wasn’t the same as moving to a completely new state without a job, without a close group of friends, and without a plan. In Nashville, I learned to enjoy the moment – I didn’t worry about a savings account or anything “adult-like” until it was too late.
After I had to move home, with $40 in my bank account and with a tear-stained face, I learned the importance of having an emergency fund. I decided then that I was going to prepare to be prepared and I’d always have a plan… and that plan would have a backup plan.
That situation taught me that I need to have a savings account, to think 2-3 steps ahead in case of an emergency (totally different than creating a roadmap), and to be smart in the adult sense of things.
But, I leaned too far in that direction. I took my lesson and I let it consume me, refusing to feel anything or let anything else in. Rather than taking from my surroundings and allowing myself to learn new lessons, I kept my head down and I barreled towards these milestones I had laid out.
Then, I realized that wasn’t the right approach to life either. I stopped, thought about where I am and where I want to be, and I learned that to find happiness, I need to find a balance of those two things.
To me, it’s important to have the spontaneity of a naive girl looking to explore the unknown but the level-head of a strong, stable woman to make it work.
Now, at the very bare bones of it all, it’s easy to compare my move to St. Pete Beach to the time I moved to Nashville. Of course, I’m approaching it much much differently but when you break it down on paper… well, I feel the urge to leave and I’m going to. I don’t have a strong plan and I don’t have it figured out – I just feel this pull inside of me, tugging me out of my comfort zone, and I’m going to follow it.
I need to allow myself to be open to new experiences, feelings, and tugs in certain directions while also maintaining a level head. And I’m pretty sure this will be easier said than done buuuuut… it’s my goal 😉
And I do think it’s worth noting that while I have this unique opportunity ahead of me to get out of my comfort zone and find my happiness, you also have the same opportunity.
You may not be able to up and move due to obligations but you can follow your passions – sign up for ______ classes at your local community college, go to a restaurant alone just to sit at the bar and talk to 3 strangers, do whatever it is that gets you out of your comfort zone and helps you grow.
Do what you can with what you have… remember this: a lot of small steps will get you to the top of that mountain you’re climbing.
The outpouring of supportive direct messages, text messages, and phone calls have been unbelievable. I truly can’t explain how wonderful it feels to hear someone say, “I get it. I’ve been there and I’ve felt that way and I want you to know that I’m so proud of you.” Opening up online isn’t easy – it’s scary because it’s so easy to be judged (or worse for a blogger, no one will read) but I want you to understand one thing – I won’t take advantage of this opportunity.
The unknown is scary. Not mapping out a plan to the very minute is scary. Life is scary. But, what does that matter? Being afraid won’t change the outcome. Sometimes you have to jump in with both feet, ammiright?