I mean, really.
Why are you doing something that doesn't make you happy?
And if you know me, I hope you're considering what the heck I've done in my life and what I've overcome to get to this point where I can ask a question that may sound trite. If you don't know me, I'll tell you some more so you get that I GET IT.
I get the anxiety and depression and insomnia and stomach issues and infertility and paranoia and weight gain or loss and chronic pain and addiction and all the other things that you're experiencing from keeping yourself somewhere or in something that isn't meant for you. I get it because I've experienced all those things (even the infertility thing--but for a different reason) multiple times in my life from keeping myself in situations that weren't meant for me from fear of changing or being healthy and happy.
I get it. I get the concerns and fears and hesitation and ambivalence that is keeping you doing what you're doing or where you are. It kept me in jobs and relationships and situations and habits and patterns and HECK, even in a body, that wasn't really ME.
We do what we do until we do something different. Nothing changes if nothing changes, all that stuff. Easy to say, hard to do.
But the HARD is what you have to weigh--if the hard of choosing or the possible outcome is harder than the dread you feel right now. If the hard of what might happen, say if you ate something you consider off-limits or if you stopped working out so often or turned off the TV and went to bed earlier EVERY NIGHT or opened your heart to someone who seems great and really likes you...if those hard things would outweigh the HARD of your current state.
Because life doesn't need to be hard or feel horrible. I say this from experience.
I get the whole "I have to pay my rent and feed myself" thing. Yup. I'm right there with you. And I was there as I tried to build a business and finance my own gender transition and enter graduate school and pay off undergrad loans while I had rent to pay and food to buy and no one to rely on but ME to make it all happen.
I get the whole "but what would people think of me" thing. Yes, I do. And you know what I realized? People think you're awesome or an asshole no matter what you're doing or not doing right now anyway. So, what do you have to lose? Your illusion of control of that? Good riddance.
I get the whole "how do I know if I'm doing the right thing" thing. HOLY HELL, how many times did I ask myself this?! I searched high and low for someone (ANYONE) to tell me the right thing to do. That person never appeared but I'll help YOU out: chances are, if you're going TOWARD something that will make you less miserable, it's right. Even if it's scary.
I get the whole "how do I make it happen" thing. I remember sitting and trying to think something into existence. Like, if I made enough lists or sketched things out or talked about it enough, it would just happen with ease that involved no risk or fear or failure or rejection. And sometimes things DID work that easily and well. And that was great. Many times, I had to leap and see what happened, which was neither fun nor pleasant. And guess what? I'm sitting here writing this article for you, so I'm alive. I figured out how to stay alive. It's ok.
I get the whole "what if the person rejects me" thing. Listen, mere months ago I sat across the table from someone and put my heart on the line and was told, "NO" to my face. Great. Clear. Now I decide what I do next. Still alive, once again. And it's much better than dreading seeing that person or interacting with that person and fearing what will or won't happen.
I get the whole "what if I fall flat on my face and never get up" thing. I felt that every time I tried something scary. So far, I've fallen flat on my face, but haven't not gotten up. In fact, I become stronger and more confident every time I do so.
I become a healthier, happier and MORE AWESOME version of myself. To the point that I don't dread anything and I don't do anything that doesn't make me happy---or at least with the outcome that it WILL at some point. Because even hard or scary things provide a lesson or character development, if we are wise enough to make lemonade from lemons.
And so I ask you again, if you dread it, why do it?