Choosing the uncomfortable path

Recently I’ve made some major changes in life. The desire to quit my 9-5 job has been brewing for the past couple of years now. I’ve worked so hard to be where I am today, living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, a gorgeous brightly-lit, high ceiling apartment in a desirable neighbourhood, a wonderful group of friends, I had everything I’ve been dreaming of. And now, I’m giving it all up. I quit my job giving only two weeks notice, listed my place up for rent, selling all that I’ve accumulated in this place I call home, and instead choosing a path of absolute unknown. When I gave my two weeks notice, the hardest part were the questions from family, coworkers and friends as to what I plan to do next. I didn’t have an answer for that. I didn’t want to aimlessly apply and work in another random job again having to deal with other office politics. I didn’t know where I wanted to go or what I was going to do. I was completely lost. Subconsciously, I made this decision to drop my life and choose a path of the unknown because disliking a routine lifestyle until “something better comes along” was far more soul crushing than taking that gamble and risking it all. Though I am scared as hell as to where I will go next, I am also thrilled about where life will take me. The surprise of life that not longer was finally makes me feel alive again. An excitement with hopes of a more inspiring and insightful future.

And so, in an effort to see as many people as I can and enjoy what is left of this chapter, I spend a beautiful, sunny, Vancouver Spring day with a friend sipping coffee, biking along the city seawall, and having a picnic in the park. My friend finally confesses to me as we sit there in the gleaming warm sun how she felt her life was on autopilot, despite the fact that she was in a new job and a new relationship. Even with these new changes, she still felt lost and confused. She didn’t find excitement in any of these changes and so I asked her what scares her most. What would evoke some feelings in her and she finally admits the desire to open her own business. It has been a dream of hers but she was too afraid to go that route. There was too much risk, no certainty in that path. And so I simply responded that she has to try. I told her she had to choose the uncomfortable path because it would be the most exciting. I don’t know if her idea and start-up business will be successful, but the truth is no one knows. No one has any idea what they are doing. Anything else they tell you is a lie. Life is about going with the flow and figuring it out as it goes. Anyone that tells you they know exactly what they are doing, what they’re getting themselves into, are lying. Life is a series of twists and turns and of challenging unknowns. A person that can start his own business is one that is willing to take the risk. He is not smarter than you, nor does he have insider information, or know exactly every step of what he is doing, he learns as he goes. The only difference is, a successful person is one that knows how to navigate obstacles while turning them into opportunities.

And so, I urged her to take the uncomfortable road of the unknown not because she can figure it out as she goes, but because it is the only thing that evokes any sense of emotion in her, even if it is being scared. If a safe life is one on autopilot, what is the point of living. What is the point of living if you don’t feel anything? Isn’t being scared and excited far more alive than to not feel anything at all?