“Sometimes when things are falling apart they may actually be falling into place.” ~L.J. Vanier
Earlier last year, I felt like I finally had it all. Good education? Check. Respectable corporate job? Check. Decent salary? Check. Fancy car? Check. Charming, funny, and handsome boyfriend? Check. Stylish apartment? Check.
I should’ve been happy. So why didn’t I feel like I was? My life looked perfect on paper. So why did it still feel so empty? I’d done everything I thought I was supposed to. So why did I feel like a fraud? I had everything I’d ever wanted. So why didn’t it feel like enough?
The answer is simple: I’d been too busy trying to curate a life that looked good on the outside to recognize how I felt on the inside. I’d been too busy trying to be who other people wanted me to be to realize who I actually was. I’d been too busy trying to seem important to identify what was actually important to me.
I’d been too busy blindly going through the motions to realize that I was settling for jobs that didn’t align with my dreams, relationships that didn’t align with my needs, and a lifestyle that didn’t align with my values.
For years, I’d been running on autopilot, my perpetual action serving as a convenient distraction. And it worked. Right up until the moment that I unpacked the last box on the day that my boyfriend and I moved in together.
Because, as I sat there in our big, beautiful apartment, looking around at the designer furniture that I’d so carefully picked out and the face of the man that I’d not-so-carefully chosen to spend my life with, it hit me: Everything that I’d spent so long dreaming about was here, firmly within my grasp. It was a moment that had I had always fantasized about. But this was not how I imagined I would feel.
At first, I put it down to situational jitters. Sure, I was crippled with anxiety, paralyzed by fear, and plagued with self-doubt most of the time, but that’s normal, right? It was a big transition, after all.
And admitting to myself that something wasn’t working would mean making changes. Admitting to myself that I’d chosen the wrong path would mean stepping into the unknown. Admitting to myself that I wasn’t happy would mean taking responsibility. And I sure as hell wasn’t ready to do that.
But with each hollow day and each sleepless night that passed, the feelings of dread, dissatisfaction, and emptiness only grew more and more unshakable.
It wasn’t until the…