Cait Flanders has spent the last ten years paying off debt, getting sober, going on a spending moratorium, travelling, and writing. Her latest book, Adventures in Opting Out, was inspired by a desire to live a life true to oneself instead of in service to the expectations of others.
Have you ever felt yourself growing bored, dissatisfied, or complaining about the same things all of the time? Perhaps what used to work for you isn’t working anymore. Would you have the courage to change course?
“We invent reasons for why we are staying on the paths leading us to places we don’t even want to go.”
When we do decide to make a change, some of our relationships may not weather the transition. While not deliberate saboteurs, some friends will amplify our own doubts when struggles on the new path arise. It is important to be ready for the strain of an uphill hike towards the summit and not feel shame for changing course. Lasting relationships will be made up of those cheering you on without trying to rescue you.
While we may not have every detail planned out, no one leaps into the unknown without some semblance of a contingency plan. By choosing to opt out, you are embarking on a journey you have never been before. Expect that there will be surprises, but know that the choices you make don’t have to be the choices you will continue to make for the rest of your life. When we release our attachment to an outcome we are free to change direction as necessary. Cait knows that while she is enjoying the perks of self-employment, she can always find a traditional job again if necessary. When growth is the core value instead of a tactile linear goal there is room for all the detours, pauses, and route changes that we will find in our next ten years.
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