Abandon everything I’ve got here, move somewhere new, and just start over.
I’ll admit, the idea floats into my consciousness every now and then. That never used to be the case, but over the past half-year it’s occurred to me numerous times.
It’s not that I’m unhappy…for the most part I enjoy the life I’ve built. But I’m not sure if I’m content. Or perhaps I’m worried that I’m too content. I don’t really know. Suffice to say that I’m satisfied with what I’ve done up until now, but I’m not satisfied being where I am today.
And I find myself realizing that every time that’s happenedâ€”whether I realized it or notâ€”Iâ€™ve undergone a major shift to get things on a new track. I changed when I moved from Squamish to Victoria for boarding school. I changed when I left Victoria for the University of Waterloo. I changed when I left the engineering program to get an English degree. And I changed when Andreea and I broke up years ago, which put me on the current path.
Itâ€™s been a good path. I like my job and the people I work with. I enjoy my theatre activities and volunteer efforts. I love my friends dearly.
But as good as all that is, I need to grow out of it. I feel like Iâ€™m stuck in a rutâ€¦even the new things I do are just reflections of the person I am now. I think Iâ€™m capable of more, but I donâ€™t know how to push myself forward, short of starting fresh.
So letâ€™s turn it around. If I were on the outside looking in, what would I tell me?
What you need to do is stop treating every single request as a personâ€™s last wish. You always feel like youâ€™re letting someone down if you donâ€™t help them out, even if you have to compromise your own well-being to assist them. Youâ€™ve put your needs behind othersâ€™ far too often, and so long as you do that, youâ€™ll never figure out what you really want.
What youâ€™ll realize is that you donâ€™t need to run away from everything youâ€™ve built here. If you control how much you do, instead of letting others dictate your schedule, then youâ€™ll realize thatâ€™s the big change you need to make. Youâ€™ll create the free time you need to push your own agenda. Youâ€™ll stop filling every spare moment with some new activity, simply because you can.
The tough part will be your own perception. No one will think less of you if you stop being the guy whoâ€™s always ready and willing to lend a handâ€¦most of your friends will be glad that youâ€™re taking time for yourself. If you think about it, your closest friends never ask anything of you, because they donâ€™t want to add to your plate. And theyâ€™re frustrated every time they talk to you and learn that youâ€™ve taken on a task for someone else.
But you have this image of yourself that you need to perpetuate. You love being dependable and reliableâ€”itâ€™s your natureâ€”and you tell yourself that being that guy makes you happy. It does, but only to an extent. After all, being that guy is ultimately making you unhappy. You just wonâ€™t admit it to yourself.
Letâ€™s put it this way. Youâ€™re almost 30, and whatâ€™s changed since you were 25? Thatâ€™s whatâ€™s bothering you. Sure, youâ€™re very active and accomplishing lots of small things, but you havenâ€™t tackled any of your major goals in life, because you havenâ€™t gotten around to setting them. And frankly, thatâ€™s a waste of your potential. Sure, you were probably ahead of a lot of people at 25, but now youâ€™re beginning to fall behind. Or you already have.
I love who you are. I love what you stand for, and the moral values you hold dear. Thatâ€™s your coreâ€¦the part of you thatâ€™s been there through all of the big changes in your life. But you need to move forward, and to do so you have to abandon the image you have of yourselfâ€”a perfectly reasonable and good person. Because you can be someone whoâ€™s even better.
One more thingâ€¦stop talking to yourself in public. Thatâ€™s just crazy.