Have you ever woken up with a dream that made you utter “holy moly, what just happened?”
This morning, I sat up on my bed in a daze after such a dream.
It reminds me of the time I had to start over.
The dream had taken me back to my old university classroom where I watched myself addressing the entire class, recounting my life story.
Which was surreal and odd.
I wish I could remember how the story I had told the class had ended.
All I remember now is that it was my life story, and I had grey hair. And I didn’t look too bad. Ha.
Waking up with this dream made me think about the time when I had to start my life all over.
I guess recounting our entire life to strangers does that to you, even though you remember little of it.
A few months ago, I went through some of the toughest time of my life and experienced the entire saga of hitting rock bottom.
Around that time, my sister tried to persuade me to come and stay with her.
During our several conversations, she reminded me of lots of things I had forgotten about myself.
To her, I was a go-getter person who knew exactly what she wanted.
She told me I never relied on anyone or asked for anything. That she was always proud of me.
She remembered me as a generous person who treated her and our family with gifts and money while her friends’ older siblings took and took from their parents.
She does not know how much difference her passing remarks made for me then.
I was nonchalant about it at first. And then I thought some more.
I started thinking:
I WAS that girl. I was ambitious and adventurous. I feared absolutely nothing.
If you had flown 8,000+ miles away from home to some place where you knew nothing or no one, only with the excitement of an unknown world ahead of you, I guess you might be qualified to say those things.
Anyway, that’s when I knew I could start over no matter what.
Most of all, I wanted my old self back.
Below are a few lessons I’ve learned during my journey of starting my life all over since.
If you’re in a tough spot, remember it’s never too late and you have everything in you to start over.
I’m the living proof!
You won’t see me crying. Not any more.
So, let me remind you of why it’s not too late to start your life over and why you can start over TODAY.
Why it’s Not Too Late to Start Your Life Over
1. You Had a Tough Time Before
And guess what.
You came out of it.
Believe that you’ll come out of this one, too. Look at the past, how far you’ve come. Give yourself credit for how resilient you’ve been.
Most of all, imagine how much stronger you’ll become when you get past this, too.
Your past tough time attest why it’s not too late to start your life over.
2. Nothing Bad Happened
Maybe your pride got hurt. You had to ask for help. It’s darn embarrassing.
But nothing bad really happened. No one died.
As long as you have a roof over your head and food on the table, you can start over.
Often time, it’s just our ego standing in the way (at least, that was the case for me).
Get out of your own way and decide to start over. That’s really all it takes.
3. The Only Way To Go Now is Up
Do you know the best thing about hitting rock bottom?
From here on, the only way to go is up.
As morbid as it might sound, there’s some comfort knowing that you’ve fallen as deep as you could.
You might not feel like it right now.
But after hitting rock bottom, what else is there to say but:
We know rock bottom is not an enjoyable place to stay long. It’s not a happy place at all.
So eventually, you’ll be forced to decide and make your move.
When the time comes, you’ll make the right decision and start paddling, climbing up and out.
How do I know?
Because you’ve done it before!
When you look back today after 20+ years, you won’t remember much of terrible stuff but only wonderful ones.
Case in point: my last night dream from which I remember good stuff only (or the feeling of it).
That’s how our resilience rewards us when you decide it’s not too late to start your life over and act on it.
Practical Tips When You Want to Start Over
Move Your Body
When things extremely get tough, move your body.
Either force yourself to do an intensive workout or go for a walk.
Our body’s natural reaction to exercise is immediate and instinct.
Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel “high”.
That’s why exercise is a worthwhile endeavour, even when you don’t feel like it.
I learned it from my experience, so I now have this motto embedded in me:
Look after your body. It’ll take care of your mind.
When you’re struggling, the concept of “looking after your body” may not even cross your mind.
Who cares about our body in such a desolate place, you might say.
That’s fine. What you feel is absolutely justified.
Move your body anyway so you can give a chance to your body to do its job, releasing the feel-good chemical that’ll help you ride past the rough time.
When your body is at its optimal state, the state of your mind shifts.
It opens up to the notion it’s not too late to start your life over and prompts you to act on it.
Read Others’ Life Stories
I know there’s a time you just feel like giving up.
But you know what?
There’s always someone who has it far worse than you.
Sure, it doesn’t directly solve your problems. But sometimes, reading others’ life stories makes you observe your life through fresh eyes.
It makes you humble.
Besides, you get to forget your problems for a moment.
What’s more, you may find yourself touched and pray for some strangers (even if you aren’t religious!).
Quora is an amazing place to find inspiring stories.
There’s plenty of humanity and hope that reminds you why it’s not too late to start your life over and, most of all, you will WANT to start over.
As we start over, we become more conscious of the choices we make.
All of this is reviving your old self, who overcame difficulties in the past.
The one you’ve known all along as a strong and capable person who can create the best yet life.
You’ve done it before.
You can start over again.
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