In order to truly experience the benefits of change and effectively implement positive change into your life, you have to simultaneously execute your plan of action and propel yourself out of your comfort zone like your life depends on it. It’s scary, it’s icky, it creates 100 different question marks for every 1 question mark you previously had in your head, but boy is it worth it. Uprooting yourself out of the comfort zone that is the city you’ve been born and bred in and moving away from your support system and people who mean the world to you, to temporarily build a new life on a blank canvas would provoke an element of anxiety in even the most calmest of people. So, for someone who had suffered on/off with anxiety fairly badly, on October 16th 2017 I miraculously found myself sitting in the middle of Dublin’s T2 departures, smirking like a child when they’ve won an argument, anxiety free and the most calmest and content I’d felt in an exceptionally long time. This calmness / contentment has for the most part stayed with me since I boarded my flight (during storm Ophelia might I add). The fact I said goodbye to my friends and family and boarded that flight calm and collected, with zero dodgy gut feelings was an immediate indicator to me, that I had made one of the best, if not the best decision for me at the time.
“You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose” – Dr. Suess
I moved to New York with nothing more than some solid personal goals, and an unextinguishable energy and focus to achieve them. I went with an unclear plan as to how I was going to do this, but I also went with a new found confidence and faith in myself, that I knew I would do it. I went, fueled by my inner drive that has always been there guiding me, but this time it had revved up a few notches, it was ready for this – I was so ready for this. I had temporarily lost my mojo in the year after graduating college when I felt ridiculously lost, and hated myself for “letting myself down” because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. That’s probably a whole other blog post to be honest. What rare lucky individuals know exactly what they want to do with their life when they leave college? My fifty something year old dad still tells me he doesn’t know what he wants to do “when he grows up”. The day I received confirmation for my US visa, was the day I promised myself I would get my mojo back more than ever before and would never let myself lose it again.
Despite feeling lost, unhappy and upset with myself for the majority of the year after college, my brain had been acting off a subconscious plan I had compiled in the background without fully realising. I took a job that I knew wouldn’t majorly challenge me because I had other goals for myself for that year. Yes, I gained more experience and earned decent money but my wider focus was completely on my personal self. My primary goals were personal goals that I was hoping, if achieved, would massively benefit me and my career in the long term. My main goal was around getting to the bottom of the unnecessary anxiety that had been regularly rearing its head over the last few years, something which I felt was going to pose serious problems for me in terms of life goals if I didn’t. I wanted to work with a professional counsellor to try and uproot what was going on in my subconscious and knock it out of the park. It took me months to build up the mental strength I knew I would need to give every counselling session 110% but I did it.
One Monday morning in April just gone I rang half the counsellors in Dublin City to enquire about prices and their service offering. I did my research. I was a woman on a mission and it bloody well paid off. It was very difficult at times, mentally testing and very mentally draining. You can’t just expect the counsellor to be able to do all the work for you – you have to help them to help you. I regularly asked myself was I wasting my money and that maybe I just can’t ever fix this, maybe I’m just screwed, maybe I’m wasting my time etc etc, but the tiny voice that is my inner warrior has never failed me yet. Empty vessels make the most noise and all that. Persistence and dedication when tackling these type of issues really are crucial, you won’t get far without them. You have to learn to trust the process. A diamond was once a mere chunk of coal that did very well under pressure. Ride the fucking wave and enjoy the ride.
It’s easy to stay in a cushy, comfort zone lifestyle and downplay/ignore any issues you know are lingering under the surface, but at the end of the day, apart from being indenial, you’re only lieing to yourself and surely you’re better than that? You’re also doing yourself a massive injustice, an act that will stop you ever reaching your full potential and getting where you want to be. If you’re destined for bigger and better things you physically and mentally won’t be able to let yourself glide through life in the cushy comfort zone at the expense of what really sets your soul on fire. Make the change you want so badly. Execute it with every fibre in your body and every brain cell you own. Propel yourself out of your comfort zone, no matter how nauseous you feel. Find the life you were meant for. Search for it, fight for it and don’t stop until you do. Surprise yourself in the process. It is so possible.
This time last year I was overwhelmingly lost. I couldn’t shake the extreme disappointment I felt towards myself for being in the position I was in and I was upset and anxious because I felt so far away from what I wanted in life. A bit dramatic some may say, but that’s how I felt to the core. Fast track a year to now, my life is nowhere near perfect, nobody’s is, but I’d go as far as saying I’m very close to living my dream. I’m embracing life in a new country, and all the pros and cons that come with this, (there are alot of both), but by referring to “living the dream”, what I mean is that I’m fully content with life and very f***ing happy and comfortable with myself right now and if that’s not living the dream then I don’t know what is. We get so busy chasing the big materialistic things that we often forget that the small stuff is just as, if not more important. Making yourself a priority is not being selfish, it’s actually very sensible. I fought my way here, I decided to step up and challenge an anxiety disorder and battle my own brain. I never gave up on my dreams because deep down I always knew I could do it, I just got side tracked. Do the same for you. Those who matter won’t care, and those that care shouldn’t matter. Cringey af, yes, but never a truer word spoken.
“U ARE ALIVE*.
*Avail of this once in a lifetime opportunity.”
One of my favourite murals in Dublin City by @maserart
Thanks for reading!