I used to work in cubicle hell. I was chained to my desk by a headset and a program that tracked the amount of time I spent answering calls or avoiding them or even time spent going to the bathroom. I traded my artist ideals for a steady paycheck with benefits. From 2007-2012 I answered questions about retirement planning and investments.
The statement “I hate my job” was true but avoided at all costs because that would be admitting that I knew how bad it was. I told myself I “needed” the job in the recession, and I should “be grateful to even have a job.” So I stuffed down the truth.
I came home and ate bad food and binge watched bad TV while drinking plenty of wine. I put on weight. I spent my time with my friends complaining about how bad my life was. And my romantic life looked like one of those ghost towns in old Western movies – completely empty with the occasional tumbleweed blowing through.
My life was far from the dream I had of what I wanted my life to be. And to be honest, I didn’t even know what I wanted from my life. I didn’t even really know how bad it was until I was out of the job for several months. I wasn’t aware of how numb I had become, because I thought it was just ok and that I couldn’t expect better.
I worried I would spend the rest of my life running on a hamster wheel and trying to climb a corporate ladder. I worried I would put on so much weight that I would become lazy and unattractive to any possible romantic partner. I was worried I was boring in conversations. I was afraid I would never meet my future husband and would never have the family I wanted. I was worried my passion for life was dying.
The worst part was I didn’t see a way out. I didn’t know what I wanted. And how was I supposed to even figure out what I wanted when I barely had the energy to drag myself to collapse on the couch at the end of the day?
I was stuck. I was living Groundhog Day- the same misery day in and day out without any sign of change. I remember how numb I felt. I didn’t feel happy or unhappy, just numb. I listened to The Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling” every morning just to give myself some boost of happy energy just to get me through my morning routine.
Where do you even start when things seem hopeless?
I asked myself “Am I supposed to settle? Is this as good as it gets? Will I just hope that it will get better if I hang on for six more months? It’s GOT to get better if I just wait, right?”
And so I would wait, and things seemed to show some improvement. But it always went back to this feeling of dragging myself through, waiting for the weekend to arrive so I could be free. But when the weekend came, I was so low energy I didn’t enjoy it. And all of Sunday was spent dreading Monday.
That was no way to live. It wasn’t the life I wanted.
I was afraid that all of my greatest creative days were behind me in college. I was worried that I would never feel connected to my life again. I was worried that the happiest moments in my life would be taking a hot shower in the morning and drinking wine in the evenings.
My greatest fear would be that I would hit mid-life and I would look back at all the years that were gone and I would wonder “What happened to me? What happened to all my passion, drive, excitement for life? Who AM I now? I don’t even know myself, and I don’t like my life. I wasted all my best younger years.”
I didn’t know how to change it. How do you stop going down the slippery slide straight into a mid-life crisis?
I started to change when I received a free unlimited month of fitness classes. I went to these classes and started to feel excited again (and really, really sore). I started to lean into these classes two or three evenings a week, and I started to come out of my shell. I talked to the other people in the dressing room and after class. I talked to the instructor and built a relationship. I worked really hard for those 45 minutes. I researched healthy eating and working out habits.
My confidence grew by leaps and bounds. I was feeling excited again. I chased that excitement and kept trying to find ways to expand that excitement so I could keep feeling it more hours of the day. Just one little bit at a time, creating more excitement and happiness in the little moments.
That was ultimately how I got myself out of my funk, and started feeling excited about my life again. That is also how I got here, how I quit a really awesome job, and started feeling passion on a really excited about my life.
It wasn’t overnight, and I can’t say it was even intentional. It took years before I realized exactly the steps I took to bring passion back to my life.
Does this feel familiar to you? Do you feel numb in your life or like you are just coasting directionless? Do you see no way of stopping the slide head first into a mid-life crisis? Are you afraid that you’re settling for less than you deserve? Do you feel stuck and unsure how to get out?
I know those feelings. Let’s hop on the phone so I can hear your story and what you are going through. I want to help show you that the clues are already in your life, and you have all the power to get yourself back on course. I am sending you a lot of love because I know where you are, I have been there and I know it can feel like an uphill battle to get out. And I am here if I can support you through that journey.