Imagine what would have happened if man never left the cave? If the “taste testers” of ancient people didn’t try all that crazy looking fruit or bizarre sea life? In both of the scenarios the only answer is death; the human race would not have endured had it never taken a risk, never took a step out of the cave and into the unknown. The fundamentals of human life require reckless behavior, without it we would all simply deteriorate.
Lately i’ve been thinking a lot about this idea when facing making big (scary) changes in my own life. I started realizing I had created my own safe cave. In that cave was a part time job that was sucking up all my time and my stress and my happiness (if we’re being honest) but I’ve stayed because I’ve convinced myself that without that money I couldn’t survive. Then I decided to take a look at how I defined “survive.” To me that word carries much more meaning in the emotional sense than the physical. The way stress eats at the body and the spirit is just as damaging as staring at a pineapple that you’re too scared to try so you let your body starve to death.
I’m getting tired of staring at the pineapple because I’m hungry, dammit.
In a classic moment of reaching a breaking point, I put in my two weeks at my part time job. The growing feeling that I needed to make a change became insufferable, the fire being fueled by the new year and a gut feeling that I just couldn’t go film my film (my first feature that I’ve produced, wrote and am starring in) in Florida for two weeks, the emotional equivalent of eating all the yummy crazy fruit I wanted, just to come back to starving.
I 100% feel like I have stepped into space without a space suit. My level of uncomfortability is at an all time high yet I’ve smiled more since putting in those 2 weeks than I have in a loooong time. It feels good to feel like I am back to controlling my life. I have no savings, no security net or money to pull from if the make-up jobs don’t come rolling in. Quitting my part time job in many ways was reckless, but it was also necessary for my survival. For the first time in my life I am either going to sink or swim. Luckily for us though survival is in our DNA. Our ancestors did leave the caves, they did try the scary looking fruit, if they hadn’t, YOU wouldn’t be here. It is my job now to find my own ways of surviving. I will learn new skills that will help me make more money. It doesn’t have to be much more complicated than that. There are many people that will willingly spend an entire lifetime working jobs they hate because they’ve chosen to believe that’s the only way OR they are only driven by the idea of making tons of money and will do whatever they have to do to acquire it. I’m not saying those are wrong, I’m saying those are choices and they’re not choices that are right for me. Money is great, I’ll need to find ways to make it while pursuing my creative dreams so I can pay rent, I’m just determined to find creative ways to make that money doing what I love to do.
I’m a spiritual person and believe there is more that comes after death, however I also acknowledge that I don’t truly know what happens when we die and if THIS IS IT every minute of my life is precious. I only had one resolution for 2016, it was, “ be more selfish.” I don’t mean it in a negative sense but starting with this year and every year moving forward in my life I want to make my happiness a priority. I will stop listening to other people and I will start listening to my gut. I will make as many reckless decisions that I have to make in order to live my best life and I will do so without feeling guilt that I am not living by the standards those around me believe is “right.”
There is no color by numbers for life, we all have our own paths and every single one of them is just as right as the other. I urge you to listen to your gut more, to get out of your situation if you are unhappy. It’ll feel reckless, it might even be BUT GOOD. Sometimes you just have to say “fuck it” and jump. Get out of your damn cave and see the sunlight (or the moon, they’re both awesome) but just walk out of the cave.
Do it for you.