Have you ever made a drastic change in your life – one that made you feel free?
Maybe you moved across the world to experience a new culture.
Walked out of your job and said fuck it.
Left your partner at the altar.
Sold everything you own.
Chopped off your hair.
Changed your name.
If you haven’t, you’re missing out.
Because you’ll feel daring, bold, strong.
The same feeling you get when you trek 300 miles to cross a mountain just to arrive at the perfect coordinates to see the sunrise between two solid gold pillars. And all that matters is that you made it, regardless of the fact that you don’t know the way back or that you didn’t think to ration your food on the way. Yeah, you know that feeling.
People will see you differently. YOU will see yourself differently.
Making a drastic move makes you realize that life does go on, whether it was a positive or negative experience.
You find a new lover.
You find another job.
You buy new things.
Your hair grows back.
You find a new name.
Yes, it’s scary, and most likely all your insecurities will come knocking at your door, but in the same vein, qualities you’ve never known about yourself will make their appearance as well. The beauty of being drastic is that you become fearless and you start believing in yourself.
What a horrible thing right?
When I was 23 years old, I chopped off my hair on purpose. I was just done with the long hair and felt the need for a drastic change in my life. I wasn’t going through a breakup or a depressive episode if that’s what you’re thinking, although I know that’s usually the main catalyst. I just thought of it and then I did it. Short hair – don’t care.
Now, 8 years later, I’m about to cross off three other things from that italicized list at the top. I’m about to say fuck it and quit my job, sell everything I own, and ship myself, my husband, my toddler, and two dogs, overseas. Quite drastic if you’re to ask anyone around me. It’s all happening within the span of two months, so it’s not something I planned or thought of. It just so happened to happen.
Because honestly, I’ve led a pretty dictated life up til now. I went to school for business, got the needed internships, got an entry-level job, used my 15 days of vacation every year, bought a house, got married, had a baby, yada yada yada.
You know, the usual linear path.
Not that there’s ANYTHING wrong with that. It’s a great life, and I’m definitely not complaining about it. But something’s been missing this whole time, and I finally realized what it was…an adventure.
I consider this big drastic change in my life to be my first real adventure. And whatever happens, I hope I don’t forget to take more leaps of faith because I want that to be the defining factor of what it means to have a fulfilling life.
And why not? What else is life meant for if not for memories, experiences, and adventures? I’ve been really thinking a lot about the top five regrets of the dying, and concluded that I want to avoid them as much as possible (shocking I know!). Above all, the #1 regret: I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
And so far, I feel like I’ve been living a very ‘expected’ life.
I stopped doing drastic shit like chopping my hair off. Getting tattoos. Being mischievous. And hot damn, I’ve forgotten what it’s like to feel like a whole new ME. That mid-life crisis is going to hit me SO hard one day.
And this is why I strongly advocate doing something drastic. Even if it’s something so benign as buzzing half your head off.
But the question is, how brave are you to be drastic?
See, I started with the small step of chopping off my hair. Now I’m graduating to selling all my stuff, quitting my job without one lined up, and moving my family overseas to a country I’ve only visited twice.
Yep. Taking the drasticness (not a word) to a new level.
I have no clue how things will unfold or develop as I go through this process, but one thing’s for sure: a new ME awaits on the other side and I cannot wait to greet her.
For good or for bad.
Because ultimately, a decision such as this can be reversed and rectified should I find that it’s not the right path for me.
I can find another similar job.
I can move back to the country.
I can buy another home and all those fun materialistic things.
So, if you happen to run into an opportunity to do something drastic, don’t overthink it, just do it. Most things will lend to personal growth if nothing else materializes. While I am advocating for this kind of change, I do want you to exercise caution and self-awareness because you’re really the only one who knows what your true limits are and how well you can bounce back should you fall off a cliff. If you see yourself breaking down in slow motion and crying on the floor for weeks, surrounded by your dead & beautiful luscious hair, then spare yourself the mental anguish and find something else that’s less drastic for you. Also, make sure the drastic thing you’re doing is not literally jumping off a cliff. Anything, where you stay alive, is fair game and up for grabs.
I’ll be cheering for you, even though it might be while I’m figuratively jumping off the cliff.
Go ahead. Be drastic.
*Disclaimer – maybe have the courtesy to leave your partner before you get to the altar…but you get the gist