I’ve taken to the phrase I am blowing up my life as a way of describing what is happening with me lately. It suits the many changes over the last several months (maybe years?), and it brought me here. Telling you what this is all about.
I wasn’t unhappy in my life per se. I owned a lovely condominium in an affluent town west of Boston, which felt like a measure of success. It was decorated to my taste with a level of cleanliness that most found hard to believe I could maintain (I’m a tidy person, I admit). I had a very rewarding career in higher education for 15 years before I moved to corporate in 2019, where I happily learned the life of remote work. 3 years later, I was finally ready to start my own styling and wardrobe consulting business, a dream I had been toying with since I left higher ed. I was living by my own schedule and my own rules. I had some good friends in my life. I wasn’t really dating, but dating in your 40s isn’t necessarily easy. And my family, while at a distance, loved and supported me. Overall, things were pretty good.
So why blow up my life?
I wish there was a simple answer, but the truth is it came upon me gradually over time. Like most people, I had an image of what adult life would look like, and in many cases, it shaped out that way. And in others, it really hadn’t. I assumed I would have married and had children. I assumed I would travel more broadly. I assumed I would have deep friendships in close proximity. I assumed I’d work a traditional job, own a home (maybe two?), and get to see my parents on a regular basis.
Yes, some of those things are true as I write this, but most definitely not on the timeline in which I thought they’d happen. And perhaps more importantly, I’m not even sure those assumptions came from my own desires but rather were a product of what I saw other people around me doing. Maybe that should have been my first clue.
If you’re someone whose life didn’t pan out how you thought, you’re not alone. I used to tear up every time that realization came to mind, as if I should be disappointed that certain things were not part of my reality. Or even worse, that there was something really wrong with me if I hadn’t yet experienced those things. But the funny thing about blowing up your life, you quickly realize that perhaps the absence of things happening to you (or going in a different direction) was actually drawing you closer to the things truly meant for you.
I didn’t wake up one morning and decide to blow up my life, but I did quit my job (and all the lovely aspects of employer sponsored benefits), started my own business, and sold my condo without the next definitive destination all in a matter of 2 years. Most would say that’s a lot of big shifts in a short period of time. And while I agree, it’s part of the reason I wanted to pause to write this blog. I always felt that entrepreneurs who share their stories after they’ve made their big, flashy success didn’t feel resonate to me because they often skip over or have a foggy memory for these years. These years feel like they contain the richest lessons, the biggest leaps in learning and healing, and the most courageous steps to co-create a life we’d really like to have.
I still have clear memories of how I started this journey and frankly, I’m still in the middle of it. In the transition. In the lessons and learnings. In what some call the liminal space, that space that represents the distance between two destinations.
So that’s where we will begin.