I am 39 years of age. If you looked at my life, you’d probably say I don’t have much. In the material sense of the word, you’d be right. You’d no doubt presume that I’d fallen on hard times! Yet, what you don’t see, looking at my life from a purely superficial level; is at the present moment I have must more than I ever had before.
I have a life of freedom. A life I’ve always wanted, give or take a few goals I would like to achieve, but in a nutshell I am pretty blessed. I am happier, more positive and peaceful person and for the first time in my life I am living my life on purpose.
Where did I come from?
Oh boy, I thought I had it all! Earning a substantial amount of money working as Head of HR for a small company in London, getting to travel the world and buying whatever I wanted. I had it made, and in a way I did, I just didn’t think I deserved it at the time; so bit by bit I started to lose my way. I’d gotten into drugs; I’d sleep around, looking for any kind of love and I became depressed. It was as if the more successful I became, the more I was determined to destroy it!
I was living in a high pressurized environment, my job was super stressful, mainly because my self-worth was at an all-time low, and the demand from high above was awful. I was the only female in Management and although I’d like to think it was a bonus, perhaps an advantage, it really wasn’t. The sexist remarks, constant pressure to be someone I wasn’t and trying to ‘fit in’ with the boys took its toll.
I wasn’t being me, whoever that was, so I turned to alcohol, drugs and sex to try to numb the pain. Then one day I broke, I remember just sitting in the shower huddled in the corner crying, asking ‘why do I feel like this when I have everything?’ I’d finally crumbled, my mind and my body could take no more and this was a sign!
I decided things had to change and change fast! I quit my job, arranged to move back home and try to ‘find myself’. It all sounds rather grand, but it wasn’t, there were no instant realizations, no feeling that I knew what I wanted to do with my life in an instant. No, I still had a way to go, but at least I was on the journey and change was imminent.
JK Rowlings said ‘rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life’ and I tend to think that, at that moment, it was my rock bottom. My spirit was crushed, I didn’t know which way to turn and the only option was to go up, because going any further down would mean utter despair!
Where am I now?
Since then, I’ve moved a few more times, I’ve tried various jobs and even had another disastrous long term relationship. It wasn’t until May 2013 that I turned the page and things started to finally slot into place. I quit my then job, became single again, sold everything and moved in with my mother!
Drastic you might think, but I had to start over and this seemed the only way. I had to get back to grass roots and find out what exactly my purpose was on this planet. Although it didn’t feel like it at the time, it was the best thing I’d ever done.
I found out that having less meant a freedom like no other and here are a few reasons why….
I could work on my own dreams
It gave me the chance to find out what I was passionate about, my desires and what following my heart meant. I was tired of working for other people in making their dreams happen. I knew I could do the same, so instead of looking for another job I could do and die slowly inside, I chose to take a course online to find out my true life’s purpose, what I loved to do and then build a business round that!
I found out I could write!
Soon after my split from my partner back in May 2013, I started to write a blog about my daily ramblings and hobbies. As I started to write, I found a new desire to express myself through my blog and it felt wonderful! I’d finally found my voice, I could speak without being told I was wrong or told to be quiet. I felt liberated and writing slowly brought the real me back and I embraced it fully at every opportunity.
Being single isn’t so bad
For so long I’d been with a man in one form or another, either in a relationship or caught up in some web of desire somewhere. This was the first time I was totally and utterly single, with no man to make me feel special, sexy or awesome. I knew I had to do that all by myself. It was difficult at first, especially as I was totally reliant on someone else’s opinion of me, but a year on it’s the best thing I ever did! I choose to love me and I know that my own love will get me through anything!
Work less and earn less
This was one of the hardest lessons. I decided that I had to earn money whilst I worked on my dreams, so I took a part time cleaning job. I chose it because it would mean I could write through the day and clean at night, plus it was the type of job where you didn’t need to take your work home! It was hard because I had to make sure I didn’t define myself by my work otherwise it could get me down, and the money wasn’t that great, but it was paying my rent and bills and that’s all that mattered.
I gave up drugs and alcohol
This was one of the first things I did, mainly because I was tired of how they both made me feel. Oh don’t get me wrong I had some good times, however I now know that if you want to make something of your life you have to do it feeling good. You’ll understand, most certainly with regard to alcohol, the day after a big session can be hell. So it was an easy choice to make. I could either stay stuck doing work I hate, being the party girl or go after my dreams, let go of the social life for a while and feel great – it was a no brainer!
Those are some of the things I’ve done to date. I still live with my mother but I’ve created a new life for myself which is the exact opposite of the old me. I’ve lost friends along the way, my social life is only once a month (if I am lucky), but I am doing what I love. I’ve just written my first book about this journey, I’ve met some wonderful new and inspiring people along the way and doors of opportunity keep opening!
I finally feel free and it can be so simple to obtain. You just have to believe in what you know within your heart , let it guide you in the right direction and have faith in what will be will be. Most of all being grateful for all you have every single day, this is absolutely key to creating a life of your dreams, because you’ll have more things to be grateful about!
So are you ready to find your freedom? What’s it really worth to you?
Paula loves people and connecting. She has spent her life going from one experience to another ranging from her love life to her career choices. You can find her writing daily at The Daily Grow Paula’s blog dedicated to giving daily inspiring, thought provoking and growth motivating messages. Her first book ‘A Freedom of Less’ is out now. Donating ALL royalties to stopping human trafficking & slavery worldwide.