You’re hunting for the “right” job. None of the guys on Tinder look like anything other than sex-charged, ill-thought deviants and it’s not Saturday. You have no idea who to vote for, but are midway through your third binge of Game of Thrones to revisit before the latest season premieres. You’re familiar, might’ve even wrote a blog about Harambe the child-dragging gorilla, but have no idea how many migrants died crossing the Mediterranean that same week (over 1000, by the way. I Googled. I’m not perfect either.).
Ever get the feeling you can’t find what you’re looking for? Overrun by images, videos, apps and Kardashian-fuelled news, ever feel a bit lost? I don’t know maybe you’re right at home in a suspended state of apathy, comfort and pursuit of simple pleasures. It is after all the Australian Dream.
If you, like me, find yourself consistently searching for time to make meaning of life, particularly your place in it. If you are looking to change, but don’t have the first idea how, here’s a few ways to start
- How prepared for spontaneity are you? Take a look around the room you’re in – pets, hordes of furniture and knick-knacks, boxes of redundant memorabilia in the garage. It’s all excuses. Like you haven’t excuses enough in your mind to procrastinate from those excuses. If you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it. If you’re not going to use it within a year, get rid of it. If you don’t like it, if it’s the topic of arguments, if it serves no other purpose than to impress the neighbours who never come over because I haven’t cleaned the guest bedroom in case things get boozy, and anyway I need to buy a new crockpot to make them that dish mum used to make before she came to Australia. You guessed it, make like Elsa and let it go.
- If the only fun, the only time you laugh really hard, the only messy but wonderful memories made are the result of something you planned, then the time has come to randomise the elements you interact with. Suddenly go to bed later, or earlier. Change yoga classes to the other night they run. Download a song from an artist you’ve not heard of, or tune into someone’s playlist you recognise no songs on (or if you’re old-school like me, buy a CD at random from JB). Get your groceries from a suburb you’re passing through. Change your route to work. Scroll through your phone and text whoever crops up (maybe no exes or your accountant) Start getting acquainted with territory outside the 10km radius you usually travel within the confines of.
- Stop liking things you don’t actually like on facebook, or double tapping on hot people, or clicking trashy news stories on Yahoo!7 when you log out of your email. The algorithms of your social media, Google, even your internet browser are constantly monitoring you (seriously, check out Google Ads) and will start filling up with things like what you mindlessly validate. Meanwhile you’re scrolling past the political, the powerful, the passion-filled because it’s awkward or uncomfortable and those things that are important for us to know about go unheard, unnoticed and without action.
- Stop limiting yourself. See if you can talk about the future without saying ‘but’ at all. Don’t enter Search terms on seek. Don’t employ age parameters on Tinder. Just afford yourself the time to brainstorm as you look through your options, and whatever excites you most, or seems to suit your interests, go down that rabbit hole. Really invest the time to work out how it might be feasible. You might fail, plenty of times, but no-one learned to fly without falling. Many times.
The trick to changing your perspective and taking opportunities is an alchemic balance of being realistic and pragmatic along with trusting yourself enough to handle the consequences. Golly if I had a dollar for every time I heard “I couldn’t do that, I wouldn’t know what to do if…”. And that there is exactly what happens. You learn what you would do by doing it. No matter the outcome of a decision to do things differently, you’ll LIVE. You’ll work it out and then use that knowledge to approach your next crossroads.
You don’t need to cross the planet, tear your home apart, lose all your money or ignore everything you’ve learned to give your life more value. You just need to know yourself enough to make what contribution you feel most affirmed to do so life is more than an expenditure of time or series of routines. Make yourself useful, make yourself special. bg2yx.