How to Overcome a Life Crisis OR: Who am I Not?


Wellbeing / Saturday, March 10th, 2018

So here I am, travelling through life on my way to happiness and I hope you will join me.

The Mysterious Road to Happiness

First of all, to clarify, Lovejoyroad actually exists and can be found pretty much in the middle of nowhere in Western Australia, a few hours south of Perth.

Obviously, I don’t want to sit or live in the middle of nowhere for the rest of my life. Being an English teacher (for now anyway), lovejoyroad is my metaphor for where I want to be: surounded by love, enjoying my everyday life and growing as a person step by step along the way.

Honestly, the enjoying my everyday life part has been very difficult for me recently. I am struggling at work for various reasons, my parents are in the middle of an ugly divorce, my grandfather died a few months ago and I feel like I don’t have any time for the things that are actually important to me. On top of that, I moved to the other side of the world two years ago (from Germany to Australia) and still miss some of my friends and family from there a lot. I don’t regret my decision, but it is hard sometimes.

So where do I go from here? I know that I need to find out what my priorities are in life, then act accordingly and make some radical changes. But being stuck in my crisis, it is incredibly hard for me at the moment to identify what I actually want and who I really am. I always thought I knew who I was going to be, but so much has changed.

Freefall

Then a thought came to me while I was watching an episode from the series ‘Masters of Sex’, and it is simple really: If I don’t know 100% who I am or what I want (yet), then I need to start identifying who I am NOT and what I DON’T want for my life first.

Masters of Sex
Photo: Showmasters, Source

The main character of the series, obstetritian Dr. Bill Master finds himself in the middle of his own life crisis when the fourth season begins: Accused of having inappropriately touched a boy and prostitution in his sex research institute, his wife throws him out of his own house and his long-term affair and work partner Virginia Johnson leaves him after he confesses his love for her. He contemplates ending his life by crashing a car, but then decides not to and another car smashes into his instead. Although he is not at fault, he is sentenced in court because of his high blood alcohol level.

The picture above shows him at a court-appointed Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting led by a wonderful woman named Louise. When she asks him after the meeting who he is, he says he has no idea, but he knows what he is not: He is not a man with a wife, a house, a job or a research institute anymore. Then the story continues from there.

The I-am-NOT-List

So for today, whatever you may be unsure about or whatever your crisis may consist of, I want to encourage you to take some time and write down what you don’t want for your life, and with this, also who you may not want in your life. Try to come up with 10 points and then go from there.

For me, I have come up with the following points and I already feel like this is an important first step to change.

I DON’T want to:

  1. …work until I am 70 (or even older).
  2. …constantly feel like I have no time for the things that matter to me (including friends, family, fitness, my dog, cooking, reading a book, blogging or watching a good movie).
  3. …depend on other people to be happy.
  4. …work for a person or company whose values I don’t support.
  5. …live in the same place for too long and be scared of change.
  6. …feel poor and have no money to spend.
  7. …end up being divorced like my parents.
  8. …have kids one day and then have no time to raise them.
  9. …lead a life that is too planned out for spontaneous experiences or too chaotic to  follow any plan.
  10. …be addicted to consumerism and accumulating more and more stuff.

What is on your list?

 

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