Why I Gave Up

Everything.

Photo Credits (all photos): Unsplash

I gave up the keys to my apartment. (I no longer have a permanent address)

I gave up my six figure salary. (I no longer have a fixed income)

I gave up on my relationship that wasn’t headed anywhere. (No longer have baggage)

I gave up my fancy lifestyle. (No more Uber)

I gave up my expensive shoes. (Well let’s not get crazy, I put them in storage)

I gave up dinner and drinks three nights a week.(No more glutinous expenses)

I gave it all up. (To pursue life)

You’ve heard it all before. The “I quit my job” essays, the “I pursued my passion” thought pieces.

This is not that essay.

I didn’t have a plan for success. I had a lot of fear and I knew failure would be inevitable, by someone’s definition. I don’t even have any real advice for you because, believe it or not, you are the only holder of the best advice for yourself. When I decided to give it all up, it was because of a great fear that I subconsciously had. I feared that I would leave this world without leaving behind a legacy that mattered.

How narcissistic of me; to think that the world needs my individual impact. There are 7 billion people on this planet and I think that I am one of the chosen ones?

Yes.

Perhaps.

You see, it wasn’t until I accepted that I was selfish and narcissistic, that I realized that my decision was more about me than it was about the world. I wanted to live a life that was a contradiction to how we’ve been taught to live it. Selfishly, I really only wanted to invoke a change in myself. I wanted to become a minimalists of things and maximizer of life.

“Be the change that you want to see in the world.”
— Mahatma Gandhi

Money had always been a means for me to pursue life rather than a means for me to over-consume and regurgitate back on life. But lately I found myself over consuming on things more than experiencing life.

In life we are given choices. Sometimes they are not easy. At times you have to give up something in order to gain.

In life there are some people that don’t have a choice to just pick up and try something new and take a risk. There are sick parents, kids, spouses, your own health to think about. So in reality, giving up is a privilege of sorts.

The privilege of having enough to risk losing it all, or the privelege of having nothing at all to risk nothing but your sanity.

When I realized that I could live the life I wanted by sacrificing not a few things, but by giving up everything that I’ve been taught to need (a home, a secure job, and fancy stuff), I realized that it was now my opportunity to reset my needs. I created a no strings attached version of my life.

When I went for it, I didn’t look back. It was my time and I had decided. “If not now, then when” as my good friend would say.

I’m not naive enough to think that I won’t need some of these things back to sustain a living (a home, stable income and some stuff) but I know that when I get these things back they will have a new meaning. I know that there will be challenges. I know that I will fall and fail, but I also know that there will be successes. I expect the little things to make me happy and appreciative. I hope for the little wins that will make my day.

I gave up everything to gain back one thing: the acceptance and ability of change in myself.

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