Everyone has a story. It shapes who we are, where we go in life, and how we grow. My vision for Force of Well is for it to be more than just a website, but a community where people come together to share their stories and help one another. Communication is a passion of mine, and I enjoy sharing my experiences with others. As I reflect on this blog over its first few months, I realize that while the content has been good, it has not been particularly compelling or unique.
Life is all about growth. We grow as an individual through learning, reflecting, and experiencing new things. We also grow through our relationships with others. This is particularly pronounced if you have a partner that you spend significant amounts of time with. Relationships without growth are doomed to fail. We have all been there, and it is unavoidable that some aspect of our life is stagnating at any given moment. However, if we our growing overall, it is easier to overlook the aspects that are stagnating.
When we cease to grow, it is generally time for a change. I knew this was the case for me part of the way through medical school in 2014. My life was stagnating in multiple ways. I did not enjoy or feel challenged by my work, my personal life was stagnating, and even my other activities such as exercising seemed to be stuck. The person that once loved to be social and travel was gone. My main activities became escapist in nature, which encompassed video games and trips to Disney World. I knew it was time for a change, but it would still be years before I made it.
Fast forward to 2017, I made some needed changes in my personal life, moved to Florida, and was back to living a healthy lifestyle; but I was still miserable working in medicine everyday. I thought about leaving every semester during medical school. There were various ways I rationalized staying in medicine, none of which really made sense when I look at them in hindsight.
After a year of residency I could no longer face myself. While I was still kind and able to maintain an outwardly pleasant demeanor, I had become cynical and negative regarding the future. I was allowing myself to live out of fear. The person that had the confidence to pursue so many audacious goals in the past was no longer there. It was on a short trip to Las Vegas that I decided I needed to take a leave of absence from my job.
Even for those of us that are confident and practical, making a bold change is not easy. There is always the fear of failure, but the hope and belief in a better life, along with remembering to live each day to the fullest, quells that fear. I took my leave with no idea of where I would end up. I scoured job boards, attended job fairs, and reached out to everyone I could think of in my network. Eventually I found work to keep the lights on while I figured out my next career move.
What is amazing is how freeing myself from a bad situation had such a huge impact on me personally. Not only did I become hopeful about the future, but I felt like the real me for the first time in years. It is bizarre to look back and see how miserable I was and how much I missed out on over a 3-4 year period as I fell further and further into a period of stagnation. I felt more open and able to pursue the social life I wanted to, and actually give all of myself to a relationship. No longer did I want to escape into video games or spend my time away in a theme park. In fact, I realized how much I missed living life and no longer felt the need to run away from it. Finally I was choosing to live.
Opportunity to Grow
The takeaway from this is that it is never to late to make a positive change in your life. It is easy to fall into the trap of punishing ourselves by staying the course when it only hurts us and those arounds us. We can only be helpful and supportive of others when we take the time to improve ourselves and live the life we want to live.
Often times this means going against the traditional, more accepted path. I knew that leaving medicine would be scrutinized by some and praised by others, but in my heart I knew it was the right decision. I hope that some part of this story will inspire you to grow and start living the life you desire.
In what ways are you growing and stagnating? What steps help you foster growth in your life? Share your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to follow and interact with us on social media!