On May 6th, 2015, after an introspective and unexpectedly life-changing trip to Myanmar, my heart won a long-running battle against my brain when I asked my boss to come and have a cigarette with me on the 13th floor of our office building, and humbly informed her of my decision to quit my job. That was a year ago. How far have I come 365 days later?
By the end of the month, I was out of there. I was fully aware at the time that I was in the middle of a shitstorm that I was helpless against, so I threw myself into it instead. I could not properly deliver on being a functional human being. And I thought that by the time I was gone, that I’d hit the ground running, intoxicated with ecstasy on sweet, sweet freedom! And I was, indeed, intoxicated. Happiness, though, is another thing.
Finding happiness is an uphill climb on Everest, through a snowstorm, with one leg, and no jacket. And as much as I was bursting to escape life in a cage, little did I know that those were just the first few steps of Calvary. Lamb-like, my steps were delicate, wobbly and uncertain, but upright. I stumbled a few times along the way, but goddamn, now I’m a proper ram and, although I haven’t gotten there yet, I’m making it to the top of the mountain!
To be honest, at the beginning of this journey, I felt like I needed to start completely from scratch, with absolutely nothing. A long, hard hold on my Menu and Center buttons, until my Apple logo appears (you all remember iPods, right?). Call it a self-inflicted penance or attrition, I wanted to know what it felt like to have nothing. I wanted to know what it felt like for my soul to be hungry for something, and figure out what it craved.
While my wealthier friends have gotten ahead with their bank accounts, I feel like I’ve gotten ahead on life, having had the opportunity to shut out the world and listen to what I truly want. I didn’t come here to party, but I did come here to rock n’ roll. I’m showing up for my own life, and I’m here to make things happen.
It’s been a year since that little seed of a new life was conceived in my head, and a belated happy rebirthday to me! It’s been a year since I chose a life that is both simpler, and more complicated than what I had. I dove in, head-first, eyes closed, with absolutely no idea what was coming next. Reckless and impulsive, maybe (which I tend to be sometimes), but by far the most exhilarating risk I’ve taken so far… and I’ve gone skydiving!
And God, it’s felt like I’ve been in labor for just as long, giving birth to myself. I feel like a completely different person:
I’m more relaxed, yet my determination is more cut-throat;
I live simpler, but my thoughts are more complex;
I’m more confident and comfortable with myself, but I’ve never been more in pursuit of self-improvement;
I give less fucks, but I am more compassionate, and sincere;
I confront my demons, and listen to my angels;
I’m more honest with what I want, but I’ve learned to listen;
I know that I have everything and nothing;
I know what kind of love I should be looking for, and I recognize it when I see it.
“Fucking millennial,” I hear you say, and it doesn’t bother me. I recognize how extremely privileged I am to have had this time and opportunity to deal with myself and all my shit as organically as I could, and change everything that I felt needed changing. I just want to be ready for the rest of my life, is all. I want to be ready to love the man I’m meant to be with. I want to be ready to spend time with my children and give them an education on the world, within and without school. I want to tell them stories about what a hell of a riot my life was when I was young, the way my parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents told me theirs.
Sure, there’s the snarky, condescending family members who ask me why I don’t have a job, like I’m so unworthy of the oxygen and space that I take up. Or the insensitive acquaintance who asks what it feels like “to be a bum.” Mind you, just because I’m not anybody’s bitch, that doesn’t mean that I don’t work. I’m just not a slave to the wage. While I understand the need for money, I don’t need to be greedy with it. The more precious commodities to me are time, and relationships, which I felt like were severely lacking in my life. Between back then when I had neither money nor time, now I at least have time. I figured that if I just started doing what I truly wanted to do, the money could follow. Meanwhile, I’m laughing. I’m ticking off dreams that are coming true one by one. I’m looking at the bigger picture, and seeing that the fancy car that I could buy wouldn’t mean shit, if I were the only one in it. I’m appreciated for what I do, and what I stand for. I feel loved.
I’ve called the shots everyday since then, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have not looked back, not one moment. And I don’t regret a thing. Dreams are coming true left and right. There’s yet much to learn and all I am really, is thirsty. There’s so much to do outside the confines of one’s self, and I’m honestly so busy. I have bigger plans a-brewin’. I’m not know to be patient at all, and I’ve had to bite down hard on sticks to keep from convulsing with impatience, but they’re coming, they’re coming!
In the meantime, I continue to climb my mountain. The shitstorm is over — halle-frickin’-lujah! — and now I rebuild from the dregs. There’s much to do, but there’s an abundance of material to build with. I’m not worried. My Apple logo has appeared. My ram’s horns are grown. I’m seeing the next mountain summit.
I’m going to celebrate with a cupcake. Happy rebirthday to me!