A Lesson About Going Backwards To Go Forward

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Sometimes to go forward, we have to go backwards. As much as I wished otherwise, life isn’t always linear. To have the success we want in life, we sometimes have to do things that are completely opposite of what we know. And this shows up in different ways for each person.

Thinking back on where I was 2015, I never could have imagined I would be where I am today — living in Denver, CO and working in a career that aligns with my values.

I was working in a job that no longer fit or made sense to me. I struggled with how decisions were made, and everyday was a challenge just to show up to work.

I also didn’t love where I was living. I felt like an outsider and I was craving something different. In some ways, I needed stability.

I was living in my home state of Alabama, after years away in South Carolina. I moved back to Alabama for a career opportunity with a large international organization. I had hopes of living there for no more than two years, and then transferring to some place new.

Things didn’t go according to plan. My plans to transfer to another location fell through and so I was faced with a choice. Do I remain in Alabama and in a career that I didn’t love? Or do I roll the dice and do something completely different?

The Shift

For years, I wanted to relocate to Denver, CO. I would visit often and had developed a small friend base there. At times, I made minor attempts to apply for jobs, but had zero success. And moving there without established employment was never on the table for me. But things changed.

Around six months prior, I started a long-distance romance with someone who lived in Denver. This relationship provided the motivation to finally make the move, even if it meant doing so without a job. I wanted to give the relationship a fair chance, and I wanted to give my life an opportunity to become what I desired it to be.

In going backwards, I chose to move back in with my parents. If I was truly serious about relocating and doing so without a job, I needed to save as much money as possible. And living at home with my parents was the best way I knew to do that.

The universe conspires to support you when it knows you are serious. And taking this type of step backwards certainly spoke to my commitment.

My goal was bigger than the perceived perception from others. I no longer cared about how it would look to be a thirty-something living at home with his parents.

After months of working and saving money, the time had finally come for me to make my move. I was both nervous and excited. I didn’t know if I was committing career suicide or opening the door for an amazing opportunity. I just had to have faith that the Universe would have my back.

Today

Today I find myself in a good place. I am intentional about practicing self-love and spend my days doing things that bring me joy.

I have grown a lot as a person. The fact that I have written these words and that you are reading them is a testament to that growth. Two years ago I would never have imagined that I would become a writer who shares his work. I was too worried about what people thought of me back then.

I find myself in a career that aligns with my values and puts me in a position to have a positive impact on the lives of others.

I didn’t know it at the time, but going backwards was essential for me finding my path in life. I needed to let go of what was comfortable and secure. And have faith that I was on the right journey.

Conclusion

What dreams do you have for your life? If you have learned anything from reading this piece, I hope it’s that sometimes we have to do things that aren’t necessarily ideal to realize our dreams. It may be moving back in with parents to save money, or working an extra job. Nothing worth having in life comes without some type of sacrifice. Keep that in mind as you chase your dreams and devise a plan to turn them into reality.