Everyone has gone through those monumental situations that bring life as you knew it to an immediate halt. Where you're forced out of the comfort zone you've grown to know and reside in and into a sort of "limbo," where you're stuck not knowing what your next move will be. All you know now is that you're lost - amid possible episodes of crying, pacing frantically around your apartment, or maybe hiding in your bed, dreading the thought of facing reality.
I'm going through this right now - slowly but surely figuring out what's next and picking up the pieces. Two months ago, I was eager to get the life I thought I wanted, to an even better state, but then all I knew for the last three of my five years in Los Angeles came to a plummeting downfall. I was kicked into that deep black hole called the unknown, forced to figure out my first step into the new universe my life was to become.
Everything I had come to know (my comfort zone) was obliterated. The beginning of a new chapter of my life had begun - even if turning the page caused a major paper cut along the way. My slate has been wiped clean - a major blessing in disguise - allowing me to recreate who I was going to be.
Though it's only been a little while, I've discovered so much in my healing. Here's what came to me:
1.) Know that It's okay not to know what's next
Within the state of the unknown, it's challenging to know which direction to take, let alone, where to set your foot down next. You regularly ask yourself when trying to decide which move to make, "...but what if I'm wrong?" I get it. The thing is, though, how do we know what is right or wrong unless we try a few things first?
It's okay not to know. Just know that no decision is wrong. Each experience in life is a lesson that will teach you more about who you are supposed to become, and maybe reveal something that you would never have known about yourself otherwise.
2.) Reassess what is important to you
If you sit alone in a room, with nothing to distract you, and you ask yourself, "if I could only do one thing for the rest of my life, what would make me happy?..."If I could be with anyone right now, who would it be?", "Where do I feel most at home?"..."What impact do I want to make?"..."When all is said and done, how would I want to be remembered?"
The answers to these questions will be a simple and straightforward sign of guidance to where the next chapter of your life could take you, and what you may (or should) consider focusing on. Chances are, if and when you decide to choose to go after these things, you will feel more fulfilled and at peace compared to maybe doing what you think others may want you to do or what you think you have to do.
3.) Consider your surroundings
When you take a walk outside, do you feel as if your environment is serving you? How do you feel? Overwhelmed? Underwhelmed? Wanting more? Needing fresh air? Yearning for more hustle and bustle? Desperately craving in-depth conversation and like-minded people? More opportunity? The ability to spend time with your family? Are you at peace, and do you feel like you're where you're supposed to be?
Sometimes, even in situations where life isn't turned upside down, we need to find a place that meets our needs and pushes us towards balance. Your environment strongly impacts your mood, your productivity, your perception, and your life overall. There is such a thing as adaptation, but when you're feeling lost or wanting to start over, coming back or to a place where you can be at peace with yourself is the best place to start.
4.) Take time to Explore Yourself
A new chapter of your life has begun, and one of the best things you can do is explore things, old or new, that excite you! You could go on a bazillion dates if you want. Maybe you'll take a train ride to wherever seems interesting to you. Paint, learn a new language, explore your sexuality if it's been something you've been curious about, learn how to become an aerial flyer - whatever it may be!
If you feel lost, stepping into that untapped place within yourself may fulfill you in small or large, meaningful ways. Take the time to ask yourself - what do I want to try? What have I never done that I've always wanted to? or "man, I've always wanted to do this - just because!" Do that thing, and see where it takes you! It could be nowhere, but at least you tried it, and you've made your life that much more full because of it!
5.) Stop Letting Social Media Influence your Place
Okay, this is an age-old tale, but always a good reminder. Most everything you see on social media is a highlight reel of all of the good times people are having, what they're proud of, what makes them happy, along with the moments where they feel beautiful and accomplished. You in no way, in any situation really (social media or not), should be comparing your current state and who you want to be with the things you see scrolling through your phone.
Sure, you can educate yourself on different matters, along with being inspired by things. Still, the only one you should ever focus on comparing yourself to is the person you were yesterday, better yet, the person you were a minute ago, and work and try your best to improve yourself by your standards, baby step by baby step.
All of the answers you need are within you and in the world around you, not on a device.
6.) Listen to Your Intuition
You know that "gut feeling?" Listen to it gosh darn it. If you're asking yourself the question of "where do I go from here...," listen to what your intuition is telling you! If you get a nauseous feeling after thinking about a certain possibility, then that option is not the one to go with. Then again, if you say, "maybe I'll go live in New York for," and this excites you, or "maybe I'll go back home and spend time with my family for a while," and you feel peace in that, those are probably more aligned with where your next chapter takes place.
Speak aloud to yourself and trust the response you hear along with the process. It may be the most in-depth and real conversation you have. You know yourself better than anyone, and if you listen to the truth behind who you are, you'll find yourself in a better place than you would otherwise.
7.) Take Everything a Day at a Time
Nothing monumental happens overnight. Life is a marathon, not a sprint, especially after you feel you've been blasted by a stick of dynamite and have to pick up the pieces before you even make it to the starting line of the race. Give yourself time and allow yourself to heal day by day. I know we all feel we have to meet the expectations that we and others have for ourselves, but what does it even matter if you're not able to do it one piece?
What matters most in your life is you, your health, and your well-being. This is your life, and you need to do what is best for you.
8.) Leave all that doesn't serve you behind
This is the key to anything you do, especially that of moving on with your life. Anything that has left you with negative connotations or feelings, has drained you of your energy, left you broken, taken you down a road that made you not recognize yourself, had you feeling disrespected, or has left you feeling like you're not worth even a fraction of what you actually are - leave it behind. Better yet, drop kick it out of your mind and into a different black hole.
What makes you feel anything less than at peace with yourself and creates a roadblock to your fulfillment and you moving forward, doesn't need to exist in your life.
This is the first and last step to moving on to your new chapter with strength, poise, and confidence. Everything will work out if you have faith in yourself and the story of your life.
Now, give yourself the chance you deserve.