About four months ago I wrote an article about what to do when you feel in-between life stages and life purpose. Now I’m back to let you know how following my own advice went. Spoiler: it’s gone really really well.
This is what happens when you trust your instincts and let them guide you in life.
Four months ago, I was living with my parents after graduating from college. I was waitressing full time while also building my personal brand and business as a freelancer in multiple channels. I was tired, but excited. I was searching, but also discovering.
Four months ago, I planned on saving some money and living out of my car for two months while I traveled the country and explored. I planned on moving to Los Angeles, which has been a dream of mine since I was young and spent my summers and Christmases on the west coast. I planned on living in a ratty apartment with other struggling artists and just seeing what happened. Los Angeles is full of dreamers who fill their days with marketing, finance, answering phones, or waiting tables, and spend their nights singing, acting, performing, or creating.
At this time I had a bit of lingering self doubt but I also believed in myself to the fullest.
But then opportunity knocks, and only you get to decide whether or not to answer. As I was living at home outside of Washington DC, I began traveling to New York on a somewhat regular basis. I started building connections and friendships that were different – different than the relationships I had in the past, these were that of empowerment, challenge, friendly competition, and care. I found myself counting down the days to my next New York trip as soon as the last had ended.
Long story short, I live in Brooklyn now.
Not only am I not waitressing to support myself but I am working full time on projects that ignite my soul. I planned and planned like it was my only past time. My plan changed. I planned again.
And then I took a massive leap of faith, trusting my intuition the entire way, and it worked.
In my last article I gave the following advice:
“My main piece of advice to anyone thinking about pursuing this lifestyle may sound slightly unexpected. Don’t just dive in head first.”
I’d like to amend that. I agree. But I also dove in head first by moving to Brooklyn. Now, I’d say don’t just dive in head first. Get your ducks in a row, get a little extra padding in your savings account, and then dive in head first. An important person in my life said to me a couple of months ago, “New York isn’t a place to half-ass anything. You either keep moving forward with 110% or you drown.” It’s true. And I am still swimming.
I also gave this advice: “…to anyone in a similar place.. keep pushing. You are working your ass off, but it will pay off.” If you’re like me and working what feels like 80+ hour weeks as you build your own life while holding onto pieces of your old lifestyle in order to pay the bills… it can only go up from here. We are progressing. We are moving forward. All that can happen from here is slowly letting go of our old lifestyles as our new ones fall into place. We can only go up from here. It is worth it.
I’m still super freaking busy. But I’m loving it. I feel so free from self-doubt.
However, that is not to say I don’t have days full of self defeat and discouragement, but I keep going and I’m still making it. Yes, I am on a tight budget and I have to watch my spending closely. Yes, I’m still spending most of my time working. But everything I do I’m enjoying in one sense of the word or another. I’m either working on something I’m really good at, something I really love, or something that is pointing me towards one of the former.
I try to get a general track of my hours so I know how I am spending my time, but at the end of the day I don’t really know how to keep track. Everything I do, whether it’s sending emails or having a drink with a friend, blends together. Everything I do is productivity towards where I’m supposed to be.
There is a time for creating, a time for hustling, a time for relaxing, a time for loving, and time for fighting, and all these things blend together when you have one main goal. This main goal should be the same for everyone: to be filling the space in the world that you are meant to be filling, no more, no less.
I’ll add a final piece of advice that I’ve been committed to over the past year and a half or so: Get to know who you are, and stay committed to what you know you’re supposed to be doing in the world.
When you do this, everything else falls into place.