“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive”
Another day and another quote that made my insides wrench a little when I related it back to my own life and what I was doing with it.
You see I had one of those CVs that was great on paper. Good academics, a graduate job with leadership and management prospects, even had a handsome pension ready to give me a tidy sum after 40 (or maybe 50!) years; but I wasn’t fully settled with it and when I went to work in the morning I didn’t feel I was coming alive, I didn’t feel I was offering the greatest expression of my talent and I didn’t feel I was living my biggest, fullest life.
Now I know this may all sound a little dramatic and oh so mid 20’s angsty; not everyone loves their jobs and it’s not all sunshine and lollipops if you do. In many respects I felt guilty for feeling the way I did, after all I was lucky to have a good job, I liked the people I worked with and didn’t hate it; but it was like that relationship that isn’t quite right even when you try to tell yourself it is, it gnawed away at me, and if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in my short time here it’s that you can’t hide from yourself. Ever.
Once the seeds of discontent were sown little things started to jump out at me, startling me and upsetting my equilibrium even further. Such as the casual line ‘if you don’t make decisions about your own life somebody will design a life for you and it may not be the life you wanted’ read in a random book, or stumbling across Larrry Smiths excellent TED talk ‘Why you will fail to have a great career’ which almost made my heart stop.
It was with this need to change that my quarter life crisis was born and I, started to dream.
“Follow the gentle pull of what you love. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”
I had always dreamt about going to India. Vibrant, intense and so vastly different from all I knew it fascinated me and I desperately wanted to go. Dipping my toe in the waters of solo travel with a two week trip to Goa, I knew I had to go back and experience it in full. That coupled with a short stint in Australia the same year (revealing a yearning for nature and space) followed by a growing love of cycling and all things bicycle chic led to my plan: I would travel solo to India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia with a craft kit in my backpack working my way down to Australia where I would stay for a year. What I would do I wasn’t sure, but like the great quote above I would follow my intuition and curiosity and have faith that it would lead me to back to myself, and hopefully to something great.
On my 27th birthday the deal was sealed with a (very) strong vodka and a one way ticket to leave in four months time. I didn’t feel prepared and was scared as hell, which only intensified over the coming months, but in the wake of my fear I started to feel more alive than I had in years.
And so I offer you a warm welcome to my crisis, to going east and the tales which will follow. I hope you enjoy the journey 🙂
My favorite crisis inducing (or busting) links..
‘Why you will fail to have a great career’ TED, Larry Smith
‘Milk the Pigeon’ – a blog for all those lost 20 somethings
Steve Jobs – ‘How to live before you die’
‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ – book, by Susan Jeffers
‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ – book, by Mitch Albom