I started this blog to write, share and connect. Over finance and lifestyle. Fifteen months into this, I realize that while I am talking about finance, urban homesteading, and contract work, the thread that holds it all together is my journey of starting over in my 30’s. With almost everything.
At 34, I lost 4 close family members in short order, separated from my high school sweetheart and was staring down sudden unemployment. This time was to become the equivalent of a raging forest fire in my life. Most things were burned to the ground and virtually no landscape was recognizable in the aftermath.
This post isn’t a woe is me tale though. There’s plenty of sorrow to go around, and others that have gone through worse. It’s about gratitude for that time in my life, both for what it gave me at the time, and the new growth that’s replaced the scorched areas.
Starting Over Is Scary AF!
For most of us, we resist change and the discomfort of looking the truth head on. And why not? Starting over is scary AF when you’re standing on the precipice looking down. Almost like an outsider looking in.
Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change. – Tony Robbins
In most cases, the tipping point that pushes us forward is either a circumstantial shove or not changing becomes scarier than any theoretical situation you can imagine.
Before all the upheaval, the mere thought of giving up my dreams of the potential I perceived in my relationship, or switching career, or trying contract work was terrifying. The thing is, the thought of starting over is scarier than actually living it. When you’re living it, you’re making plans and decisions. A new routine emerges. Your mind will be occupied with bite sized goals you’re working towards.
You might even find…
It Emboldens You
There’s power in staring down your fear and doing it anyway! It’s empowering and can give you a boldness and courage you didn’t know was there. Not to be reckless, but taking calculated risks, and throwing caution to the wind where you can. Let’s just say after some family member’s passed, I had a generous reality check and laughed at the prospect of trying a new career being ‘risky’. Within weeks, I talked my way into a secondment that helped me build skills for my present career: project management.Boldness isn't the absence of fear. Rather it's a combination of accepting fear, having backup plans and confidence in your ability to figure shit out. Click To Tweet
You See Why You Should
The series of circumstances didn’t leave me much choice. I was kicked in the behind, clear off the ledge. Fear of starting over is like a gremlin sitting on your shoulder, whispering all the reasons you can’t or shouldn’t do x or y.
Being emboldened is akin to refusing to let fear have the full stage. When courage finds a tiny corner, it only needs a sliver, you start seeing why you should. Obstacles are problems to solve. You may not have all the answers, but that doesn’t matter. It’s only a matter of time before you figure it out.
Authenticity Comes To Life
I’ve never been more myself. It’s taken me 30 or so years, but it finally happened. It took me a reality check with ‘life is short’ and somewhat literal ‘I have nothing to lose’ to shake off the fear of judgement and let go of complacencies security blanket.
When you balance out a healthy dose of fear, with calculated risk, a little courage and seeing why you should (and not just the should not’s), you start making decisions that are right for you and pursuing what you really want. This ignites an authenticity to your actions.
And boy oh boy, once you discover what authenticity feels like, there’s no going back! It’s like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket that fits like a glove. And it serves to build your conviction and confidence in your decision.
Is There A Difference Between Starting Over And Beginning A New Chapter?
I’ve been thinking about these two concepts for a while now. Starting over implies a negative impression; you had what you wanted and lost it, leaving you with nothing and rebuilding. Beginning a new chapter is like a spring board. You have all the chapters behind you and now you’re continuing to build on the past.
Really, they’re kind of one in the same, one feels positive, whereas the other feels less pleasant. Either way, in both versions, you still have the skills, knowledge and experiences you’ve gained while starting a new chapter.
So while my whole world changed in those two years, it’s the reason I’ve become who I am today. I have NEVER been more myself.
I have a partner who’s values align with mine at this stage of my life.
I engineered a career pivot into something I enjoy and challenges me.
I switched to contract work and increased my income.
I’ve learned to manage finances in a way that works for me.
My life is filled with a balance of city cultural events, creative hobbies and nature.