After 14 months, I’m proud to say that I am no longer crashing on my brother’s couch.
I finally have a bed, a closet, and a door (you’d be surprised how quickly I took this one for granted). I can also finally sleep in without extreme feelings of being in the way or not belonging.
It feels really good to not be sleeping on a couch for a change.
After spending my entire life in Pittsburgh, PA, I decided I need a change of scenery. Though I’d hadn’t spent a ton of time in California, I visited my older brother in San Diego and knew it would be a great fit.
I love the outdoors, the ocean, and healthy living — all of which this southern Californian city has to offer. So, before I had time to change my mind, I put in a request to transfer with my boss.
After 4 long months of waiting, my transfer request was approved. I was moving to San Diego.
But now the complicated part.
Other than my older brother, I didn’t know anyone in San Diego.
I was so focused on the upgraded lifestyle that I overlooked where I’d actually live. Nonetheless, my older brother graciously offered his L-Shaped sectional couch until I could figure out a plan.
One thing led to another, and there I was 14 months later, finally moving out and off his couch.
To be honest, I don't think either of us thought I would have crashed there for as long as I did. Nonetheless, I’d experienced a lot and learned even more in the process.
Let Your Actions Define You, Not Your Circumstances
At times sleeping on the couch was incredibly uncomfortable — both physically and emotionally. Although unconventional, the experience taught me a priceless lesson about self-worth and confidence:
Your circumstances don’t define you, your actions do.
Crashing on the couch is generally not something that’s held in high regard in society. It’s sometimes even looked down on.
It’s supposed to be a temporary situation, reserved for people who ‘just moved’ or are ‘looking for a new place’. It’s not a long-term solution.
Rarely do you see people crash on couches for more than a couple of months. But that’s exactly what I did. I slept on my brother’s couch for 14 months.
However, I didn’t let this define me. I was not the guy who’s sleeping on his brother’s couch. I let my actions speak on my behalf.
As Charles Swindoll once said…
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
It’s easy to let our circumstances define us.
- I’m just an average 9–5 worker.
- I’m just living in a crappy studio apartment.
- I’m just the guy who’s sleeping on his brother’s couch.
I could have let this experience define me. Let it consume my thoughts and actions. Let it persuade every aspect of my life and bring me down.
Instead, I chose to let the things I did define me. I let my actions do the talking, rather than my circumstances.
“Your actions speak so loudly, I can not hear what you are saying.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
There’s no denying the fact that I slept on a couch for 14 months. However, those 14 months were some of the most productive of my life.
During the time I crashed on my brother’s couch, I was working full-time for a leading healthcare consulting firm. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I also…
- Earned a promotion and a raise.
- Finished my first IRONMAN 70.3 (a long-distance triathlon consisting of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike, and a 13.1-mile run).
- Built a writing side hustle that earns me more than $800/month.
- Read more than 14 powerful books.
- And much, much more.
All while sleeping on my brother’s couch.
I did crash on my brother's couch for much longer than I expected. There’s no if’s, and’s, or but’s about that.
However, the fact that I was sleeping on a couch did not define me. It didn’t speak to my character, who I was, or what my life was actually about.
“Circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him.”
— James Allen
If you’re not where you want to be right now, that’s okay.
Your current circumstances or situation do not define you.
Instead, let your actions do the talking. Let what you do speak louder than where you’re at. By focusing on actions, your preferred circumstances will eventually actualize.
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