Staying Is Settling: Why You Need To Move At Least 5 Times In Your Life

Original Article here. Reposting as affirmation. I just did this and have done it many times. The sentiment in this read captures it completely for me. I’ve never felt so alive as when I’ve begun again, started over, challenged myself to try something that scared me.

 

 

Time to leave now, get out of this room, go somewhere, anywhere, sharpen this feeling of happiness and freedom, stretch your limbs, fill your eyes, be awake, wider awake, vividly awake in every sense and every pore.  – Stefan Zweig

 

Turn around, look at your life and decide right now if this moment, this place makes your pulse race and your heart bend. If there’s not a fluttering feeling in the deepest part of your soul, questioning and absorbing everything around you, get out right now.

If you feel comfortable, content and unchallenged… stand up and walk away. Make plans or don’t make plans, but whatever you do, leave this place and find somewhere new.

There’s a reason the word “leaving” sounds so nice. Like saying “see you later” instead of “goodbye,” it puts you at ease. It signifies a fresh start, a departure from the old and overrun. Because leaving is just the precursor to arriving, and there’s nothing better than a fresh start.

Whether it’s a new apartment or a new city, starting over isn’t about changing your scene, but the way you’re living in it. It’s about opening your eyes again, walking to the ledge and looking up, down and across, once again comprehending the vastness of life that sits openly waiting for you.

Life has a tendency to get stale. Like your favorite food, it loses its edge after a while, that special quality that made you love it so much in the first place. We, like the places we confine ourselves to, become as dull and boring as our surroundings.

New experiences are the reason we live. They are the reason we get up every day, the reason we carry on. While we enjoy comfort, we crave experience. The point of living is not to resign yourself to one part of life, but to continually redefine yourself. It’s to baptize yourself, over and over again, in new waters and new experiences.

You have your entire life to be comfortable, to sit in your house and bask in the familiarity of it. But right now, while you’re young and uncomfortable, keep going, keep challenging yourself. Keep making yourself uncomfortable. Because it’s only when we’re uncomfortable that we are growing and learning.

To truly understand yourself, your purpose and those around you, you must keep moving. You must move at least five times; five times to open your heart and dip your toes into something new, fresh and life changing.

1. To get away from what you know

Your first move is like taking flight for the first time. Like learning to fly, you realize the only thing stopping you from the world is yourself. You don’t have wings, you have legs, airplanes and trains. You have buses, cars and ocean liners. You have the world in front of you, with nothing but open sky and limitless possibilities.

But first you must leave the nest. You must say goodbye to everything you grew up with, the small world you once considered enough. You must unlatch yourself from the comforts of the familiar and place yourself in the middle of chaos.

This first move is the hardest. It’s the moment you willingly decide to be uncomfortable, scared and alone. It’s making the decision to become a foreigner, an outsider, a refugee. It’s abandoning everything you once cherished for the idea that there’s something better out there.


2. To find new experiences

The second move you make should be one of restlessness. You should be tired of the same flavors of your now comfortable surroundings. This move is about feeling again. It’s about accepting that you can’t possibly know everything, but you are going to try.

You are going to have experiences, adventures and an unforeseen future. You don’t know who you’ll meet, what you’ll find or how you’ll get there, but you will do it. You will jump into it blindly and openly.

You will make new friends, find new flavors and reignite that passion for life that came with your first move. You will not rest until your hungry soul is placated. You will leave your old friends for new ones, your first language for another and that idea that you’re home for that invigorating feeling of homesick.


3. To chase love

To chase love is to chase happinesses. It’s to decide that you will throw yourself into the swirling, maddening and restless chase we’re all trying to enter. Because love is the ultimate destination, is it not? It’s the reason we move, every day.

It’s the reason we get up and fight through the bad. It’s the reason we keep going, trudging on, meeting person after person. It’s the last goal, the final frontier and the only thing worth moving for.

If you think you’ve found it… in a person, a city, a job, you must move for it. If your dream job awaits in Spain, you must move there. If your heart yearns for the pink beaches of Bermuda, you must go there.

If you fall in love on the dunes of the Cape with a man you barely know, you must follow him. Chasing love is not irresponsible, it’s honest. It’s admitting that there is no greater chase, nothing more important. Because if you’re not chasing love, what are you running after?


4. To escape that love

Love isn’t infinite. It can be found in a moment, a single dose or a fleeting romance. It can be a year of perfect love with someone who isn’t supposed to stay in your life. It can be in beaches that bring you peace until your heart years for something new. It can be in the first bite of pasta and over with its last.

Love isn’t defined by its length but its capacity to touch you and change you. Just because it doesn’t last doesn’t mean it wasn’t real. You must leave for love but you also must realize when that love no longer remains.

You must be strong enough to walk away from finished love to find new love. You must flee the suffocation that comes from stifled love and keep your heart open for more.

You must never settle, never give in to the idea that you can’t have another one. Because the world is full of things to throw your heart into, things to make you weep and realize (yet again) why you’re alive.


 5. To begin all over again

You must resist the confines of comfort. You must defy the idea of settled. You must never resign yourself to the ordinary or the easy. You must challenge tranquility for the promise of something greater.

To live is to be born and to continually live is to be reborn, again and again. As a new person, new lover, new friend, you must willingly evolve and transform into new versions of yourself.

You must never allow the new place you’ve created to become the final place. You must consistently defy the idea of comfort for the idea that you’ll never be fully satisfied unless you’re exploring, changing and moving.

Full Circle

When I went to Denver for SB’s wedding celebration, I saw her Mom. First thing Mom said was that I hadn’t changed at all. Normally that would have bummed me out. But the reality is that I tried a little of everything and learned to be good where I started.

I was thinking of what I’d changed after she’d said that. I mean, it had been 8 years! I had blonde hair, red hair, short hair, almost no hair. I had a dozen bunch of different jobs (My Mom tells me that’s a typo haha). I made new friends. Moved all over the place. Got married. Went from indie rocker to beach bum to ski bum.  And after all of that trying to find myself stuff, I DID end up almost the same way I started – long brown hair, goofy smile, loud voice. The things I tried to change ended up being things that I could learn to embrace.

So no, I wasn’t the same at all – and I had changed, but that change made the inside see that the outside was good. That  I didn’t need to be insecure (well, okay sometimes I totally still am, way too much but I know it’s silly at least). That I could just keep doing my best to be a me I could be proud of.

Another Bar Melee

Well, turns out I have another story. This one wasn’t personally as scary as people throwing plates, but was just as crazy.

On our way to New Zealand we planned to leave from San Fransisco since both RB and RD were living there at the time. I wrote stories about it here, here, and here. (My old writing cracks me up – then I remember it’s about the same as my current writing…)

We went to a bar one night (well, we went to many bars all the nights) where the R’s got us to drink Fernet. If we’ve ever forced this on you, it’s their fault. We were sitting around coughing and drinking Sprite to try to get the taste out of our mouths when a giant dude ran through the front door and apparently out the back alley. Then the cop car pulled up and the cop ran through the bar. Then I think apparently he had a friend back there that they arrested and escorted out that was wearing the same coat the guy had run through with but was totally not the same guy…Rumor was the bad guy had robbed someone at gunpoint if I remember correctly. *shiver*

So that was the first time I saw cops in full pursuit of a suspect. Running through a bar. And getting the wrong guy. As I drank. Huh.

Surviving A Melee

What is the craziest thing that you’ve ever been in the middle of? I haven’t run with the bulls or anything, but this one time…

We had just made some friends in Seattle (finally!) and they invited us out to a couple bars. I of course don’t remember the name of the last place we were at but someone in the group was hungry so we went to a pizza place/bar with good pitcher deals that served food until 1am.

We were hanging around minding our own business when a couple big dudes walked in. I went to the bathroom as they were asking to be served food, but it was after 1am. When I got back the scene had escalated and the dudes were shouting at the young, small guy that worked there to get them some food. Everything had been put away, he explained, and cleaned, so there wasn’t anything to make. Sorry.

The dudes proceeded to start wrecking the place. They threw things from the counter all around and knocked a giant plant over rather clsoe to us, signaling for us to try to find a way out, but we had to pay, and the dudes were blocking the exit.

There was a kitchen pass-through window that held a hundred or so of those giant Feista wear plates (you know – this kind – they weigh a ton!):

The dudes went totally completely insane and started shoving these to the ground, smashing and ruining all of them. All of us were totally there jaws-dropped style wondering if that was the worst of it or if we were all going to be shot because these guys didn’t get any pizza. Thankfully, they left after the dishwasher or someone said they called the cops. It was kind of silly and we laughed about it later, but for a minute there we were all kinda scared, not knowing if it was going to escalate.

Anything like that ever happen to you?

Wedding Bells And Jailbirds

There were a lot of really hilarious things that happened during the week of my wedding. I was a nut, my MIL was a nut, my BFF had SHEARS in her purse to deal with the nuttiness. My husband helped decorate the reception. My mom had the first drink of booze I’ve ever seen her take – and would kill me if I told you all how THAT ended.

But there’s another story that I forget way too easily until this week, when it was RB’s birthday and we were catching up. I decided to be nice and not make fun of him on his Facebook, but really wanted to tell this story: I think here is safe.

We invited everyone that was visiting from out of town to come to our rehearsal dinner, family or friends, to be able to spend more time with everyone. Pretty much only family and wedding party was there. RB showed up late, had some wine, and toasted us after the family thought the toasts were over. It was, of course, hilarious. He’s our Jack Black – full of funny – good times guy.

After our dinner, we went out to 6th street. RB was catching up with some buddies and we bar hopped and ended up at Casino El Camino, if I remember correctly. So many people were so excited to see him he had shot after shot poured down his throat. MK and I headed home for our big next few days and the friends stayed out. KD offered RB a couch so we figured he was fine.

The next day was all about wedding things and I gave no thought to anything but the tasks at hand. There was so much going on so fast and it was all a blur until about 9pm or so after dinner and some dancing and some drinks, and we were talking to RD – who realized RB was no where to be found. “He’s probably in jail,” we laughed. “He had a lot to drink.”

No one thought he’d miss the wedding, but the night went on and he didn’t show. The day or two after that, we found out he did, indeed, go to jail. And missed his flight home. And couldn’t call any of us, didn’t know our numbers, had to call his Dad, and had to deal with so many reprecussions I almost felt bad for getting married.

You might think jail is a seroiusly unfunny matter, but every time I remember that I forgot that this even happened, I crack up. It’s terrible, I know.

Kindergarten Confessions and Reflections

Yesterday, I spent the day at the beach with MR and BD. I’m still getting to know BD and discovered she was a teacher, kindergarten last year and 3rd grade coming up this fall. I had to ask what it was like – teaching was my lifelong dream until I realized just because I talk a lot doesn’t make me qualified.

Her stories centered around the first couple months of school – saying that was by far the hardest, once the kids got the idea of ‘school’ and ‘schedule’ it was a good time. But I didn’t even think of some of the things she was able to say she’s seen – children unable to take their ‘potty breaks’, and teachers nervous about lawsuits if they helped. Crazy stuff. I love talking to people in all lines of work and learning the things you’d never assume.

The day also gave me cause to reflect. As I was going to bed last night, I noted that I can vividly remember kindergarten. Not just from stories I’d heard, but my own consciousness. I have memories from before that, we moved when I was 5 or 6, and I remember the apartment prior to the house. I remember the kindergarten room, the test of knowing your shapes and colors, and my mom telling me how well I did. My grandmother was a teacher and she was helping me learn any time I was with her. I remember milk and snack time, and the little walls made of these cardboard “bricks” to separate us at our six-sided tables, the crayons that were the same shape as the table.

Thinking of BD teaching 3rd grade was different. I tried to remember 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so on as I fell asleep. Some vague ideas of things happening are there – the teacher who gave me “A Secret Garden”, the boy of my dreams moving to town, the meanest teacher, getting glasses – but not as vivid as my recollections before that time. I might remember that better than high school – I’m still trying to forget some of those! 🙂

How about you? What are your strongest or oldest memories?

Non Sporting Sports Injury

The first time I hurt my knee was in high school. In the marching band. Which is not a sport. It’d be cool to be on crutches if you were the quarterback of the football team, but not if you’re the worst girl that was demoted from flute to I’m not even telling you what it’s that bad. There were many “she can’t even walk right” comments in my family.

I sucked at every sport I ever tried, so I gave them up as fast as I could. Then, in college I blew my knee out twice more – once on a sticky bar floor and once at an uneven outdoor concert venue. I shouldn’t even HAVE pride left. At the bar, the owner was a friend of mine, and was nice enough to give me a shot of tequila after I successfully popped my kneecap back into the socket it is supposed to stay in. At the concert, I was having trouble doing it myself but no man I was with would hit it in for me as I kept instructing. All three times I’ve gone to the doctor they’ve put me in a giant immobilizer, that goes from your ankle to your hip. Again, glamorous only after saving babies from burning buildings, not in college hopping around campus after a night at a bar.

So of course I took up skiing. And the point of this story is that although my knee hurt from time to time, it barely would pop, not the full on dislocation I’ve come to expect. And I made it through ski season – the toughest sport I’ve ever attempted, still walking on both legs.

Until last week, when no, not skiing, but standing up from sitting down and turning to reach and get something…did I pop my knee out of joint. My knee is a dork.

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