1) The tendency of an object to resist any change in its motion.
2) A property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion, unless that state is acted upon by an external force.
It’s the inertia that will get you.
Late last year I realized I was drowning in mediocrity. My job was good enough. My routine kept me busy enough. All in all, I was happy enough. Then one day it hit me, “enough” had become my crutch. I’d stopped reaching. I have a list of goals and accomplishments that I was supposed to be striving for, but I was so busy living a life that was good enough, that I had forgotten I was made for so much more than good “enough”.
I waited for a while, maybe I was hoping for an external force to swoop in to change my course, but day after day it remained the same. So I did what had to be done and became my own external force. There used to be a quote on the back of my door that said “What you are most afraid of is a clear indicator of what you must do next.” Taking that advice to heart, I decided my mantra for 2013 would be to pursue the things that scare me, so I did.
If you have ever read my article I’ll Follow The Sun (still one of my favorite posts), you are familiar with the story of how I ended up backpacking Southeast Asia for the first quarter of 2013.
Nutshell: I’d been thinking about the trip for years and started asking around to see if anyone might accompany me for an elephant ride. A friend told me that her brother was taking a similar trip, but he had been planning for months and was leaving soon. I sent him a Facebook message 5 minutes later, that (looking back) probably sounded a lot like a Carly Rae Jepsen song. “Hey, you don’t know me… and this is crazy, but I’m taking this trip too, so call me maybe.” He said he planned to travel with lots of people he didn’t know once he got out there so I might as well be the first. Within 8 hours of contacting him, I wrote my resignation letter and booked a ticket to Bangkok that left 18 days later.
When I got back, it became obvious how easy it would be to fall right back into the same routine, but given the nature of my goal for 2013, I knew that wasn’t an option. I immediately started making a plan to stay in motion. Late in 2012, I was looking at jobs in 13 cities across the U.S. Every city I considered seemed both exciting and manageable… except New York. Nothing about moving to New York felt manageable. “Besides,” I justified to myself, “I am too old to move to New York.” Most of my friends had made that move when they were 22, and the idea of doing it now, at 28, was intimidating.
Once I had admitted to myself that New York was, indeed, the “scariest” option, I booked my second life-changing, one-way ticket of 2013. On June 1, I landed at JFK with two suitcases I had packed earlier that morning.
I’ll be honest, everything about this move scared me. It scared me to take on a city solo (I know a few people, but I don’t know anyone well enough to lean on.) It scared me to move without having a job lined up. It even scared me to sell my car! Something about that felt so final- like burning my safety net and eliminating the chance to look back.
In 2013, I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. After four months of backpacking I returned to the States and fell in love with a guy whose job sent us straight back to Asia. Nothing has gone according to plan... and it's been absolutely magical.