Almost a year ago I made some changes. Some pretty drastic changes.
I sold my house, quit my day-job and moved to the country.
I wanted a simple existence. I wanted to eliminate all responsibility (well ok, most responsibility) and live a life where I could allow life to simply unfold on a day-to-day basis. No real planning. No-one to consider but myself. Pure bliss.
My work is online and completely flexible. My home is rented and therefore temporary in nature. These two factors alone allow me a sense of freedom so immense it sometimes boggles my mind. Right now my home is a tiny wooden cabin situated on a wine farm in a beautiful valley and I’m surrounded by some of the most breathtaking mountains in the region.
I also spend a lot of time in my own company. By choice. I have the space to breathe – and I mean REALLY breathe.. When I spend time with family and friends it’s because I’m inspired to. I no longer subscribe to any sense of obligation. And it’s always good!
And I’m not simply bragging here. There really is a point I’m about to make…
The Idyllic Life
Now in my world this is really, really idyllic.
I had a friend who defensively pointed out that “not everyone can make these types of changes due to their various commitments and responsibilities”. Very true.But I would point out that not everyone would WANT this type of life. This is MY version of idyllic. Just mine.
Everyone has their OWN version. Completely unique to them. And it probably doesn’t involve living alone in a tiny wooden cabin (although it might involve a wine farm for different reasons).
I recently read an article from Martha Beck which talks about how we each have different ways in which we move towards action. How we’re naturally inclined to behave in a way that feels natural for us. And when we try to operate against our natural leaning it leaves us feeling unhappy. Unaccomplished. Doubtful. Just simply bad.
And yet throughout life aren’t we always expected to all fit into one “system” or another? To simply comply and excel? Irrespective of whether it really works for us. Or feels good.
Do You ‘Fit In’?
Two of my favorite (and very common) systems to which we are all forcibly exposed early on in our development are that of schooling and romantic relationships.
Our current schooling system really is a gem..! It’s all about structure and scheduling. And if you’re naturally inclined toward that kind of system in learning then you’re made. If not, well, then you’re like me.
At school I really loved being assigned projects where very few limits applied. In other words, those assignments where you could be creative and produce something that aligned with who you really were. It could be a structure or a booklet. Long or short. Your choice.
As a natural quick starter I tend to jump in enthusiastically and feel my way around a subject as I go. I’d be a hype of activity in a relatively short space of time and produce something wildly creative and fairly condensed in nature. Bliss.
I don’t like research. Or long drawn-out timeliness. Or pages and pages of documentation. But in reality most assignments came with lots of requirements and limitations. And most were documents that required LOTS of research. Absolutely Awful. For me anyway.
I didn’t excel at school academically. I had one of the highest IQ’s in my year and teachers constantly whined to my mom about how much potential I had. And she in turn would shake her head in despair at my apparent wasted talent.
But I wasn’t inspired. Or interested in most of my subjects. And I loathed the tight structure and limits on my creativity and time. And yet I was told (and expected) to fit into the system. And thrive.
I didn’t. Fish out of water.
When I embarked on my first serious romantic relationship it was with a very firm idea in mind of how it would play out. We’d study, get jobs, get engaged, buy a house and then finally get married and have kids. Perfect!
That was the system. It was what society said was “correct”. It was the system of adulthood. And I complied. In that order.
Now that story in itself is just too long and complicated for the purposes of this specific scribbling but suffice to say by the age of 23 I was filing for divorce. I had ticked all the boxes but yet found myself restricted and gasping for air. I felt like a caged animal.
What was I doing wrong..??
I had slotted myself into a system that just didn’t FIT who I was in any form or manner. I didn’t see that at the time and my sense of self-awareness wasn’t close to being ready to see the bigger picture.
I blamed my partner. I blamed my parents. I blamed my career. I looked for anything to blame without knowing that I was simply trying to exist within a system that didn’t fit my natural preferences. I was trying to adapt to the system by compromising my values and my innate well-being.
I was effectively swimming upstream.
Find Your Own Bliss
And that’s essentially what this article is really about.
Being courageous enough to step out of what’s expected of you and embrace who you truly are. And do what makes your heart sing.
And understanding that honoring yourself doesn’t make you selfish, rather you set the best example for those nearest and dearest to you.
It’s ok to buck the trend, be different or simply not comply. To do ONLY what feels right. And exciting!
We can only be the best version of ourselves when we truly KNOW who we are.
What inspires us. What makes us light up.
And mostly, what makes us feel really GOOD!
Believe me. It’s SO worth it..!
Bio: Jacky believes that we all know inherently what’s best for us but we forget how to access with that inner wisdom when we need it most. Jacky helps people reconnect with that intuition in order to get back onto the path of creating their perfect life. If you’re feeling stuck and need some clarity on your next step or simply want to read some more of her musings then connect with her at www.jackyexton.com