Be Grateful, Make Changes, or Move On

There’s a principle I’ve started to apply to all aspects of my life (health, leisure time, friendships, relationships, personal growth, home, work, finances):
Be grateful, make changes, or move on.
Be grateful and focus on the positive aspects, make (or ask for help to make) changes for improvement, if after a given time of trying to make change you’re still not satisfied, consider alternative situations and move on.
A few years ago, I was dissatisfied with so many aspects of my life — work, how I was spending my time, cost of living in my city and the seemingly selfishness of its inhabitants, family drama, long winters, etc. — that I thought, perhaps it’s time to move on from my job and city, and I did.
I had been so miserable at work that I cried almost every workday for 5 months. After the first month, I reached out to my manager and my mentor to try to make the changes I needed. When the situation still didn’t improve, I decided to leave. I remember, the second I made the decision, a weight was lifted, I stopped crying, and was able to take the control needed to move on.
Now, there are still times I wish I pursued a more creative career, one less stressful, or that paid more based on my full qualifications. But there was a moment a few months ago when I realized there was so much more to be grateful for than not. From the actual work that I do and the people I interact with, to the flexibility and benefits, I have it pretty good. The positives trump the negatives by 80:20, and I work on as much of the 20% as I can, e.g., by pursuing creative outlets. When new opportunities come my way, I assess them with the benefits of my current situation in mind and have turned all of them down so far.
I also recently found myself focusing on a void I had been feeling with friendships. After I had left my home city for a year and again most every time I spent a significant amount of time with a close friend back home, I felt a void. How could friendships that I threw myself into compare to those that came into my life organically? I thought, back “home” I felt more connected with my peripheral friends than some of the friends I began to spend a lot of my time with.
I contemplated whether to move back then I realized: I had focused on the negatives, with little gratitude, and without effort to make improvements. New close friends? I had them I just wasn’t spending time with them. Peripheral friends I connected with? I wasn’t fully appreciating or opening up to the ones I had. Longing for my old friends? They’re still in my life and I probably talk to them and see them only a little less as often as when I was living there.
I am growing from trusting my fate to amor fati, loving it and appreciates every change in the moment. I would never fully give up my cynicism, it alerts me to the need for change as I continue to build the best life for myself that I possibly can. It’s just that I’ve also learned to be satisfied because the best life is what I already have.
Be grateful, make changes, or move on.

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