We all know those moments when you slump in the big coffee shop chair with a skinny latte, wondering how things got so bad, contemplating dropping everything and getting on a plane with your loved ones to fly away, anywhere.
You might be there right now, and if you are please just go and get that gleaming muffin you’ve been eyeing up, sod the guilt during desperate times. Everybody has those days where work, bills and selfish people get you to the point where you can’t cope and the shortness of breath creeps in. Somehow you get so used to it that you don’t really think anything of it – it’s just a daily part of life now, like grabbing a coffee in the morning. Let me tell you, that’s not right, and you don’t have to live like it anymore.
But what’s your solution? Packing up and starting a new life with your immediate family isn’t an option for everybody. I couldn’t get past the first month without ending up broke and homeless on the street shaking it for dollar bills, by all means if you’ve got the money to start again stop reading this and go! The world is your oyster!
For the ones like me, where do we go? Well, the first step is the easiest which is unusual:
1. Get some you time and start soul searching. It doesn’t have to be weeks, even just a morning. Drop the kids off at your parents/friends/childcare and get yourself a pen, paper and a big ol’ cuppa coffee (or whatever you prefer). Now draw yourself two columns, one titled PROs, the other CONs. Begin listing everything that you love about your life and everything that you hate.
2. Now use those beautiful sad eyes and look at what you have; more pros or more cons? Read your pros and remind yourself of what you are lucky to have. Now let’s look at the cons… assess the damage, don’t be afraid to get real. It’s time to make cuts. Draw a big fuckin’ circle around the mother fuckin’ reason/s making your life feel worthless. It’s time to take these cons/c*nts down one at a time.
3. Next, it’s talking time. You’ve got to find the root cause of your problem and talk to her/him/it. Ain’t nothin gonna change until you face it head on. So if you’ve got relationship problems find your partner and make them listen, if it’s work problems sit your boss down and tell them how you feel. Maybe you’re angry with yourself because you don’t love yourself enough, maybe you allow yourself to over eat or over think, sit yourself down and say enough. Being honest makes you incredibly strong, remember that. If these people won’t listen to you then atleast you can say you gave them a chance to have a say in what happens next, so it’s on them when they have to face the consequences. If your problem is an it and can’t respond, talking it out to the world will get your head straight and you’ll make better choices.
4. If point 3 didn’t solve your problems, and that’s ok, talking doesn’t fix everything, then it’s quitting time. Cut your losses, get out. Yes it’s hard to think of all the time, effort and money you’ve put in, but better to leave with a good lesson learned and life experience gained than stick around knowingly throwing your life in the dumpster. You can mourn for the life you lost at the same time as starting a new path. So quit the bad food habits, the shitty job or the selfish people. Quit the anger with the world over what didn’t happen, or what did… Quit spending your time in the past, distracted from making good decisions for you. I’m sure you’ve got lots of perfectly legitimate reasons why some things you can’t just quit; who is gonna pay rent when you walk out of work? Kids in the mix and seperation doesn’t come with the snap of your fingers.
Some things do take time, they take a bit of planning, but do decide to start the plan of a new path. Actively look for new jobs, make time in your lunch break for an interview, get your cv honest. Rip the cigarettes up and pour the whiskey down the drain like they do in the movies, cry on the bathroom floor and look at your mascara stained face in the mirror listening to Joni Mitchell.
Deciding to start my life over was terrifying, painful and so electrifying. I sometimes allow myself to look back at the incredibly angry victim I used to be, and it makes me want to fight for my life even more. I’m no Mother Teresa, I certainly haven’t ‘cracked life’ and I still have nauseatingly tough days -sometimes weeks, but one thing doesn’t change, the promise I made to myself to accept love into my life and walk the fuck away when somebody stops loving me the way I deserve. There is so much power in saying no (or a big ‘fuck you’), don’t stick around fighting a brick wall, you’ll only lose your voice and bloody up your knuckles.