We’ve all felt it when we’re overwhelmed at work, or when we just had a fight with our family for the umpteenth time, ‘What if I left and never came back?’ Or perhaps you’ve felt it when you’re on holiday listening to the waves wash up on the shore and thinking of all the work piled up waiting for you when you get home, ‘What if I just stayed and never went home?’
It’s tempting to start a new life and say goodbye to the old version of ourselves, but this idea sparks a big debate. Is leaving your home and starting over, a wonderful opportunity to start over, or is it running away?
Beating cancer, battling burnout, creating her own greeting card company, and moving to Bali, Emily McDowell is a total badass and she speaks from experience. She’s got an enviable life and leaves people around her feeling seen and inspired. I got the chance to interview her in my 2-part podcast and I have to say I learned a LOT. She shared her insight on her big move to Bali and whether she struggles at times with the idea that she might be running away from her problems.
So what’s the verdict? Is moving away an opportunity to reinvent yourself, or an excuse to run away from your problems?
It depends on how you leave. If you walk away from your old life and your problems without evaluating what wasn’t working for you, you are bound to repeat the same mistakes and fall into old patterns.
I think we can safely say, you’re doomed to fail. Wherever you go there you are, right? So it won’t be long before your old ways catch up with you and you will be left having to run away again. There are many reasons we might feel like we need an escape from our lives, but toxic relationships, overwork, and burnout can all be addressed. Getting down to the bottom of them can help us to avoid committing the same mistakes.
Take the time to be with yourself
On the other hand, without the distraction of work, old relationships, duties and routine, it can be easier to focus on yourself and what you need to work on personally. Without the outside noise and distractions, we can pay attention to our patterns and habits and gain clarity on what steps need to be taken to improve them. We also have more time to just be with ourselves, to evaluate where we are in our lives and our values with some distance and clarity.
You don’t need to be able to go to Bali to have a transformation. The truth is that it’s not really important where you are when you embark on your healing journey, but more the decision to start.
Evaluating your priorities, goals, ambitions, values, habits and patterns are all vital parts of beginning your healing journey but this can be done either in a new place or from home. So if you’re considering taking off and starting a new life in Timbuktu, go for it. Just make sure to run towards yourself as opposed to away from yourself, and you will be starting an exciting new journey to self discovery and reinventing yourself.
To hear more from Emily McDowell, check out the 2 part podcast.