Who knew that changing your life could really be as easy as falling? At the tail end of summer, I set out to focus on myself, my goals and my future in the hope that that somehow I would get my life back on the right track. I worked to reset my goals and craft a strategic game plan that would guide me to a happier and more prosperous future. So far it’s worked! So how and why did I do this? More importantly, what did I learn from falling forward and what is going to happen after the fall? I’m glad you asked because I have looked deep to ask myself the same questions and I’m finally ready to share.
Why did I have the need to fall forward and what does that even mean? It's not just the most clever hashtag you've ever heard, it's a thing! #FallingForward is a tactic that I invented to quickly redirect my life from woes to wins. The theory is that when you let go of things that keep your mind in the past and only look toward the future, you will, in a way, freefall. In doing this, your world will change very quickly and you will find yourself in new places and situations that you don't trust. Falling is
scary but it's okay, as long as you make sure you fall forward. I knew I wouldn't be able to predict precisely where I would land when the fall was done, but it wouldn't be where I started. By simultaneously focusing on my goals and letting go of anything that made me look backward, I would fall forward... in the fall, if you haven't gotten the symbolism yet. All I had to do was truly let go, and that was the hard part.
There are things in our past that we all cling to for whatever our reasons are. For me it was silly interpretations of my family’s expectations of me, trying to relive high times that are in the past with people who have moved on or changed and hopelessly attempting to resuscitate a broken relationship that is better off dead and in the past. Usually the things that have enough emotional weight to hold us back are things that have to do with family relationships, romantic relationships and nostalgic memories as these are some of our most powerful life experiences and feelings. Cutting yourself free of the weight that these feelings create is extremely hard to do but it is necessary. No matter the method, the first step is to make a change that turns everything upside down. This will help you to escape the temptation to hold on to things you know you shouldn't. I'm talking about a real change here too like moving, changing jobs, starting a new hobby, changing your friend group or going on a long vacation if you have the means and time to do so. I did a combination of those this fall as I drove around the country looking for jobs, writing, and discovering new friends. I ended up landing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Who would have ever seen that coming? Not this guy.
So is that it? Jake found a job and now he feels lofty enough to tell us all that he made it and figured it out? HAHA, No. I haven’t even come close to making it and while I have a job now that I really enjoy, I’m still not the President sooo… My point is that I moved myself out of the miserable cycle of emotional and financial despair that I got myself caught in. Kind of like Kristin Wiig in Bridesmaids, when she sees her former storefront graffitied to say cock baby, calls the girl in the jewelry store a cunt, moves in with her mom and then by the end, rides away with the new cop boyfriend and a new motivation for baking her cupcakes. That was me.
The lesson to be learned is that at the end of the day, we are our own worst enemy. The longer I ran around without a plan, the further I drifted from the path forward until the time came where I had no choice but to search for a way back. I want to also point out that I do not think there is anything wrong with diverting from the path every once in a while. If I hadn’t made so many mistakes, I wouldn’t know what I know now and I probably wouldn’t even be writing right now, something I have come to love. You know I'm all about stories. In every story there has to be a struggle, a time where the antagonist is tested. Ultimately there is an inciting incident that enables the opportunity for victory. I’m going to keep making mistakes, keep writing about them, and keep falling. I’m also going to keep getting back up. At the end of the day, I’ll end up somewhere I like and I’ll have one hell of a story to tell. That’s my plan. What’s yours?