We often get opportunities to start over. Sometimes it’s not always a good thing. Sometimes we don’t want to start over. But what you do with those opportunities, whether forced or willingly chosen, is everything.
New City = New Life
There’s no better time to reevaluate your life than moving to a new city. I had this experience in May of this year when I moved to Nashville, TN. There was a lot of change going on in my life at the time. My marriage was well on its way to being over (see post here for a recap of my summer), my career was up in the air, I was trying to make two new albums happen at the same time, and it was all overwhelming. On top of that, I got a great job in Nashville and decided to take it and move. It all happened really quickly. So I moved to a new city for the first time ever…alone.
It was the best thing I ever could have done for myself. I needed the time to reflect, to consider what my life was about, and to decide what I needed to change. I started working out regularly, I watched my diet, I got up earlier every day, and started walking everywhere. I made a goal to read 5 books a month (still working on that. Up to 3-4), and force myself to work on songs for at least an hour every day, and write blog posts for a couple of hours twice a week. This was a lot to do all at once. But I felt it was necessary. And so far I’ve noticed that I’m so much happier with my day-to-day life than I’ve ever been. I feel healthier in every way, and I love my life.
Life Altering Circumstances
Like I mentioned in the previous section, my marriage of 2 and 1/2 years was dying. Ultimately we filed for Divorce in July, and she moved out of the country indefinitely. It was a crazy time, and something I never thought I’d ever have to go through. But it certainly was another opportunity for me to check in with myself and ask the tough questions. Some of those questions were things like:
- What Do I Want To Do?
- Am I being myself?
- Do I like who I am?
- Do I love my life?
- Who shouldn’t be in my life?
- What am I so worried about?
- How am I growing?
- Do I resemble 50 year old me more than I did last year?
All of these questions and more filled my mind. One thing to note though is that I wasn’t asking where I went wrong, or filling my life with regret. I went through that months before, sure, but It was not a part of the process of moving forward. It never is. And by this time, I knew I had to be focussed on moving forward, for my own sanity and well-being.
Whenever I Call Bob
There’s another thing I decided to highlight, and that’s any time I call Bob Goff. Bob is the author of a book called Love Does, which I highly recommend if you haven’t read it yet. He also does various other awesome things. But what I love most about Bob is that his book, and the conversations I have with him, has shown me what a love without limitation and with full abandon can look like in a human being. Bob reminds me to love. I have made it a semi-regular practice to call Bob every couple months or so on average. It seems every time I call him, he will inevitably say something that wrecks me just enough to cause me to go back to the drawing board of myself and my life and reexamine what I’m doing. But ultimately he reminds me that a good story is always centered around extravagant love. And I think thats ultimately the most import part of the whole thing.
So if you take nothing away from this post except for that last part, I’m ok with that.
All this to say, at the end of the day I feel happier, healthier, and more whole than I’ve ever felt in my whole life. The world often feels like its falling apart around me, but I know I’m ok, and that’s invaluable. Some days I struggle. Some days I lose my step, or lose focus of what I’m trying to accomplish. But we all do that. And forgiveness for yourself is often the hardest part of life.
I think it’s important to note that though this post is titled “An Opportunity To Start Over”, we never really start over. There is no way to “start over”. We are always moving forward. Time and Death have made sure of that. But what feels like starting over might just be the next chapter in your story. Sometimes chapters end dramatically in such a way that it causes the reader to hang on the last word and rush to turn the page. Maybe that’s what your “new beginning” is. Maybe that’s what Nashville is for me. Maybe my story was in the trenches for a while, and I’m coming out of that for a season. Maybe this is where I can apply the things I’ve learned from the experience I’ve gained, and my character propels forward in growth and development. Maybe this is the turning point where the reader starts to root for the protagonist. Maybe this is where the conquering and the triumph happens.
Maybe this is where the story starts to really get good.