At the end of 2018, I was just like anyone else: Going to my 9 to 5 as a software developer, studying for certs, searching for cool service opportunities on the side, and going out to the bars on the weekend and getting fucked up ’til Kingdom come.
It was great, for a time. I was blissful. Most of my energy was focused on feelings. Feelings of fleeting happiness, or fears of trauma I hadn’t yet dug up.
If I were to describe it with one word, it’d be “reactive”.
I wasn’t very self aware , which resulted in short-lived relationships, counterfeit intimacy, and and thinking I was better than I really was.
If I’m going to be honest, I was probably addicted to the highs and lows of living this way. The drama of my relationships, the angst of my quarter-life crisis, and the fears of my deeply embedded trauma consumed my ilfe.
If you’re as un-selfaware as I was, you might read this and think, “ Oh, nope, that’s not me at all.” But if you can somehow recognize that something is off, that the quality of your life isn’t what you’d like it to be, and you want to explore this idea of living an abundant life, it’s crucial to connect with your pain and channel it to create meaningful change in your life.
Hitting Rock Bottom
In March of 2019, I woke up.
I was driving home from partying downtown, both sleepy and inebriated. About 30 seconds before arriving at my house, I slammed the left side of my car into the median. My heart sank as I felt that side of the car sag; I could hear the womp-womp-womp of my deflated tire as I drove the remaining stretch back home. When I parked, I stumbled into the house and straight into bed, telling myself I’d face the consequences tomorrow morning.
I woke the next day to find two bent rims and a busted tire. I was hit with a $1500 bill to fix the damages. I luckily had enough in my savings to cover the expenses, but it definitely put a dent in the sapling-stages of my bank account.
The accident filled me with self-deprecating shame. It consumed me, and I berated myself with thoughts like, “ You’re a fucking dumbass, Joyce. How could you have done something so stupid? You have no one to blame but yourself. You could have seriously hurt someone. You deserve the punishment; it could have been so much worse. There could have been police around, and you would’ve been fucked. You would’ve lost your job, your parents would have been so ashamed and worried about you. How could you be so selfish?
Some of you might even say that I deserved to hear those words, that somehow saying these things to myself would teach me to not make the same mistakes. But for those of you deeply familiar with shame and its baffling qualities, you know that’s not the case.
What Happened Next
$1500 was a small price to pay, because the accident was my defining rock bottom moment.
I started questioning the way I was living.
Those questions led to re-working my life from the ground up, and it helped me take things to the next level.
At the start of 2020, I was ready.
For the first time in my life, I locked onto my life’s purpose.
Not that I had all the answers. I just knew I needed to do something good, and I needed to take action. So I started experimenting. I started following the things I was genuinely curious about. I switched careers from software dev to digital marketing, and my world exploded into a kaleidoscope of growth, curiosity, and connection, and all of it ultimately led to the creation of The Abundance Coach.
Taking Everyday Action
The moral of the story is this:
You can feel like you’re doing everything right, but still feel empty inside.
You can think you’re passionate about something, but be completely off because you haven’t shed your built-in programming and discovered who you really are and what you want.
If you don’t get these things right, it won’t matter when or how you pursue your dreams, because you won’t have a solid foundation to stand on.
I did not know who I really was, and I was groping around blindly, just looking for anything that would make me fucking feel something.
Don’t chase an idea.
Instead, bring it to the day-to-day micro-level. Be honest with yourself on about what you really love and enjoy, not what you think you should enjoy. Start taking notes on everyday moments where you feel you’re operating “in the zone”. We’re all good at different things. Your journey won’t look exactly like mine.
But don’t make the same mistake I did.
Don’t wait until you hit rock bottom to realize you’re living someone else’s story. Living unconsciously can cost you your life, like it almost cost mine. Chasing the wrong dreams can lead you down a twisting path of sorrows. It leaves you with an empty legacy, wondering what would have happened if you had been brave with your life.
No matter where you are in your journey, there’s still time. If you’re still breathing, there’s still hope.
Check in with yourself. What is the little voice inside you saying? What fears do you need to overcome today? What do you really want, but have been making excuses to not do? Where are you feeling anger, resentment, and shame? Shine light on it.
And make a goddamn change.
Want my exclusive content and productivity tips for real-ass humans? Check out Stoked, my free newsletter that gets delivered every Friday AM.