I don’t know where we got this idea or message that life is linear. In fact, it’s no where close to linear.
I had an existential crisis when I was 25. I felt I had to have my shit together. I couldn’t really go home to mom and dad, that would be irresponsible. I needed to provide for myself, pay my student debt, do all the things. When I turned 30, then 40, I didn’t even care. But 25, fuck that to me was the END of the apron strings and the life as a fucking party animal and don’t give a fuck girl had to be over.
Get a job. A real fucking job. Get a relationship, a real fucking relationship – not a fucking relationship as I had many of those up to that point (yeah, I said it).
I don’t know where I picked up the idea that I had to have it all laid out by 25. But that’s the age when I stopped enjoying my life and got serious. Buckled down. Worked myself nearly to death, and certainly to a mental breakdown.
The idea that life is linear – grow up, fast. Get educated. Fast. Get a career. Fast. Move up the corporate ladder. Fast. Make money. Fast. Buy all the things that make you successful. Fast.
Get a relationship. Get married. Fast. Have kids. Fast. Get a dog. Maybe a cat.
Join the gym. Drink on weekends. Stay on a perpetual diet so you’re good enough. Don’t leave the workforce, ever, because “upward growth”.
Stay on the never ending treadmill of the grind.
Do all things you couldn’t do while you were on grind.
Whatever you do don’t fuck that up. Don’t change careers late in life – pension. Don’t end up alone. Stay unhappy. Tow the line. Stay in your own lane. Don’t chase waterfalls. Because…
You’ll be a failure? A fuck up? A late bloomer? Unemployable. All the things that keep us chained to a mediocre life we don’t love. A life that doesn’t inspire us. A life that feels blah and meaningless. A life where we check off the days, ache for the weekends, live for the annual vacation because the world laid out a map for us.
And we have learned that people who don’t follow the map end up vagrants, losers – all the things we don’t want to be – all the things the world doesn’t want us to be.
When the truth is life is cyclical. Empires rise and fall. And rise again. And fall again. The sun rises and sets every day. The seasons, the earth herself, give way to cycles of nature – of letting go, of resting and restoring, of rebirth and full bloom.
Yet humans are not afforded the same luxury. We are not seen as an empire within ourselves. We are not seen as part of the cycles of life and nature – that rising and falling are part of living. When we don’t embrace the cycles of life, we fade away, become numb, unknown, unfeeling, unseen, unlived.
The real test of whether or not you’ve shown up for your life, for the life that’s calling to you is if you’re rising and falling. Success, life, and living a wholly embodied life happen in a cyclical nature, they don’t always happen in a linear fashion.
Fucking amazing if they do.
But if you’re stepping up into your own greatness, if you’re showing up for your dreams and goals and taking chances, some of them are not going to work out. Some of them, maybe a lot of them, won’t work. Baseball has a 1/8th success rate – for the best in the world.
Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Vera Wang started her business at 40. KFC started when the owner was 67, after selling it door to door to his neighbours. Steve Jobs was kicked out of his own company.
The reality is our lives are not linear. Our dreams and goals and growth are not linear. We are humans and and we operate on a cyclical nature. As does the earth.
If you’re living your dreams, going after your goals, you can expect to rise and fall. Like the sun. Like other people before you and other people after you.
It takes courage to create your own map, to be a true adventurer, a modern day explorer finding your own way in a world where everything is laid out for you, to decide that you want your own map, you want to find and create new paths, new roads.
That takes courage. And risk. And they all won’t pay off. But you will learn and grow from each one. Each risk, each new step, each time you dare to step off the beaten path, you dare to create something new of yourself, you grow more, live more, embody more.
And I know that what you learn on the path, no matter where it takes you, is preparing you for the next steps.
If you’re living life right, you should be outgrowing things – jobs, places, people, beliefs and ways of living. If you’re really showing up for it, you should be finding yourself in new area’s, new journeys. And the sign of true growth is when you’re willing to let go of the shore you’re standing on so you can find the next one.
Growth doesn’t happen by us hanging onto the shores we know, then the shore we want coming to us. No, it happens when we’re brave enough to let go of the shore we know, even if it’s nice, even if it’s safe, even if it’s all we’ve ever known.
That’s how the rise and fall happens. We rise and we fall. And if we’re not, we’re not really living.
I’ll never regret the chances I took. Because I know one day I’ll wish I had done something different and I don’t ever want to wish I had tried. I don’t want to meet the woman I could’ve been. I want to become the woman I can be.
PS… I wrote a book – you can order it here -> https://www.wildsoul.ca/unchainedbook