One year ago, on a day just like today, I stepped away from my desk at my old job for the last time.
I vividly recall the feelings of emptiness and lack of purpose I was feeling at the time. I was living life not the way I wanted to live it, but the way that others were expecting me to. A life where the only feelings of happiness were getting to the weekend, so I could relax and do nothing, before a new week started in which I had to go through the same over and over again.
Week after week, day after day, history repeated itself….. Wake up early in the morning, dress up in uncomfortable clothes to go to work. Once the workday ended I would go home, too tired to do anything valuable, so I slept and woke up the next morning in the exact same place I was just 24 hours before. It was a vicious circle that many people find themselves in, but not many are willing to break.
One year ago this day I decided to go travelling, to look for something new and for something that would give me a sense of purpose, and do something that I was really passionate about.
And travelling has given me all of that.
Since then, simply remembering the day I left with all my belongings packed on a backpack puts a smile on my face. Sometimes, I think about the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made on the road. I think about the amount of things I have learned from them, and the amount of things I’ve learned about myself in this process. All of this also makes me realize the number of teachings I would’ve missed had I not decided to leave that comfort zone where I was trapped for so many years.
On the other side, there are all of those people I’ve left behind. Those who I speak to almost every day, those who provide the fuel to keep going when feelings of nostalgia set in. Those who are almost like family and who sometimes make me think, “why can’t I just be happy with the lifestyle those closest to me lead?. Why isn’t that type of life good enough for me?”.
And then I remember, that the purpose in life is not to be happy living the way others expect you to live, but rather to live life the way YOU want to live it. I remember having tried to fit into that mold, and ultimately breaking away from it. I remember forcing myself to fit in, while at the same time hating the feeling of forcing myself to do it.
That was one year ago.
Today in China, I am very happy with the life I have decided to live. I am extremely proud of having broken from the mold of expectation others have of life. The fact that I’ve shaped my life and am living it the way I want makes me feel true and loyal to my convictions.
Today I work doing something I absolutely love to do. A job which gives me enough variety and satisfaction doing it while allowing me to learn a new language and learn about a new culture. And most importantly, a job that does not enslave me nor ties me to a desk, and which gives me more than enough free time to keep travelling around the world.
I just remembered that one year ago this day, I decided to change something which didn’t make me happy…..and I did, and I made it.
THIS IS YOUR LIFE; SHAPE IT HOW YOU WANT IT, BEFORE SOMEBODY ELSE SHAPES IT FOR YOU.