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How To Be True To Your Self (When Life Doesn’t Feel Like ‘You’ Anymore)

What happened after I stopped trying to fit in? I found the joy of being alive again.

The moment that I stopped celebrating myself and my life, somehow I knew that I was veering off course. This is the story of finding and being true to myself.

I, too, once questioned my life. I questioned it from every angle. From my job, family, friends and my whole living situation. I would wonder: is this it? Is this all there is to life?

At the time, it felt like I was ungrateful for my job, for the great life that I had. But the feeling within me when I went home from work, day in and day out, disagreed. Something was wrong. Something was so off that I found myself biking for hours after work or going for two-hour long yoga sessions just to shake the day off. To feel something other than the mundane tasks that would endlessly display itself on my computer screen.

Then there were the relationships. It seemed like I had great friends, family who supported me. But there were times where I questioned if we would truly be friends if we didn’t share the same job.

It was tough to see my life laid out with all the perfect bricks that I was told to achieve. I got them, but then what? Seriously, what was there other than the repetitive days, weeks and years that would go by. I didn’t feel alive anymore.

Things feel scripted, even though I didn’t read a script. I felt forced even though I consented to everything. The most difficult part was not being able to see other options. Was I stuck here forever? Where can my life go? CAN it go anywhere else?

This was me five years ago. At a time where I didn’t really know myself nor what the world could be. Back then, work was a box that I needed to fit into. Friendships were commitments I had to fulfill. My life was a daily list of chores and to-dos.

Now, each day is fresh. Not only do I wake up to new locations whenever I choose. New work and business opportunities seem to pop up so frequently, that I’m pinching myself. The projects that I invest myself into are the ones that I want to see in the world. You can say that my dreams are coming true.

And the words I speak are the very things that I wished someone had guided me with a decade ago. There isn’t much of a difference between where I am and where you are. After all, we are all human. We get lost and we find our way constantly.

But there’s one thing I have now that I didn’t know I had before: my ability to create, to change my life. To choose for myself. And in turn, my world opened up like a dream.

Those who I thought had held me back and chained me down don’t actually have power over me. The limits that I thought were a part of my identify fell away. I have discovered what it is like to live, like what every human being deserves to. We can create the meaning and purpose that we so deeply long for. Most of us simply look in the wrong direction.

That was where I started. Where I am today isn’t the end. But a snapshot of the gifts and potential of life at this very second. What I can safely say is that tomorrow will be a surprise and all I can do is welcome it with open arms. That is the new and exciting life I have chose to live. Will you join me?

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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