How To Get Unstuck In Life

If you’ve ever struggled with uncertainty, stress or any other kind of anxiety, chances are you have a feeling that the answers to all problems are somewhere beyond the moment.

I’ve had many moments of self-doubt. As a man who’s fought for the past 35 years to be a husband and father, I’ve known many times I can’t do it. Now, that I’m finally at an age to have children, I’ve also come to realize I’ve been looking at myself as “too young” or even “too old” for childrearing. Now I’ve had a couple of years to reflect and understand what I would actually need in life. I realized that while I enjoy some of the same hobbies as my late wife did, there are certain things which I love in my lifestyle and that this will never change. But I’ve also discovered that there are other ways of living that truly resonate with me.

So this is the story of how I was able to make a dramatic change to the way I approach life, and to my own sense of self-worth.

At 28 years old, I was just in the beginning stages of my new career as a father of 3. I worked full time as a sales director for an advertising agency for 6 years. With no family responsibilities and no time off, my weekends were filled by working and the three kids, often going to the park or the theater. So I never really had much time to enjoy life at all.

A couple of months after my son was born, I stopped working and instead started reading. 

It was one of those days at the park when I decided to read and not watch the kids play; I just let it be for a bit. And for the two hours, it was like that dream came to life in front of me.

Then I got home and I started reading a new book every night.

And while at first, you may think reading about life and growing up is boring, it really is. So I quickly found out that while reading about that time in my past didn’t really make me feel old or tired or stressed,  it did a great job of making me feel something new, something exciting and something hopeful.

And that’s when I started making changes in my way of life.

The same day I realized that I wouldn’t have the children I wanted with my wife, and I’d had enough of being an office drone (no, not really… that would have been great!), I started to live like I never could before. Every time I had free time, I would make something new, something different, and something I loved. I’d buy books, or I would make homemade lunch or dinner and we’d eat it together, or I’d go for a run or bike ride, or do yoga or simply read some books. It helped to get me out of my routine and into another routine. And it just seemed like I had a desire to be here, in this world. No longer was the way I was living in my past what really defined me, it was the way I was living now.

Every time I was at work, I would start to write, or I would start to draw. I’d do something with my kids that we hadn’t done in a long time and start to look for new and exciting ways to do that. I’d make something new that I would love to share with my kids, whether it was making something out of something I collected or making a pot that my mom had for me.

Everyday as I’d go from work to home, I’d walk down the street to a coffee shop I had never frequented, try an unexpected restaurant that was out of my usual choices, walk up to a store to pick up one of my favorite designer items, and go into a new and better place every day. And that day was when I found out why I got out of the office in the first place.

For a while, everything seemed to be different, but it was actually not.