March 29, 2021

you have to be willing to move on at any time.

you have to be willing to move on at any time.

I’m sitting in a hollow room. It’s empty, eerie. I don’t like it.

The memories replay themselves in my mind. That classic first night with the jungle juice (why did we do that?) Our friends gathered around the table in the basement. All the times I walked downstairs to the sweet smells of cookies and truffles.

What happened?

For the first time in three years, I’d found a place I loved living, and a person I loved living with. Aside from my depressing work situation (hyperlink), I was happy. The bike trail was just around the corner. Two amazing restaurants were a stone’s throw away. I walked through a quaint New England downtown every day.

It was everything I’d ever wanted, and I loved every second of it.

And I threw it all away.

Oftentimes, we stay in situations longer than we should. Something deep inside me told me I needed a change of scenery -- a fresh start. It hurt like hell, but I knew it was time.

But as I left that Connecticut townhouse for the final time, I thought I’d made a mistake. My heart suddenly reversed course, telling me I’d be foolish to leave. I had great friends. A stable job. Was my life glamorous? No. But it was good enough, certainly better than it once was. At that moment, I wanted to stay. I still had time; I could figure something out.

Two months later, in this moment, I don’t regret my decision.

We have to be willing to move on at any time. The freedom of no kids, spouses or mortgages allows us to do whatever we want. That window lasts only for so long. If three children rely on us for food and shelter, we can’t always make decisions based on what’s best for us. In those situations, we put others first.

But for most of us, we’re still years away from those decisions. 

Right now, we are our biggest priorities. What’s our ideal lifestyle? What makes US happiest? Ask yourself those questions, and see if your ideal life, within reason, of course, aligns with your current path.

Taking the leap from a bad situation? It’s scary, but not as hard as you think. It requires planning and preparation. Maybe Mom, Dad or friends need to help you. You might be uncomfortable for a little while.

But trust me, if you’re a good person, if you treat others with love and respect and empathy, if you return the shopping cart when no one forces you to, things will work out. They always do. 

Life’s too short to be miserable. If you’re in a toxic relationship, an uninspiring workplace or a rough living situation, listen to what your body tells you. Too often we turn off that voice inside our heads. We push it away, even though we know it’s right.

Stop lying to yourself. Take your life back.

You deserve it.

 

Click here to listen to today's podcast, which includes this essay.