Living at home (which is not at all bad but sometimes, as Jane points out, a defense mechanism)? I moved out and into a flat with a my best friend. I spent time and money on crafting a space. I learned a little bit of how to live with someone - it's an art! There were Doctor Who marathons and parties and so many late night conversations ending in simultaneous laughter and tears.
Stuck in relationships running on separate tracks? I made new friends and realized that being single did not mean I couldn't have fun. There were road trips and "Galentines" and endless movie nights. And my friends were amazing on days that weren't. When I was visiting a friend and received some bad news, she ran the whole gamut in caring for me - tissues, talking, going out on the town, cozying up in sweats to watch Once Upon a Time. On a particularly bad night I walked into my flatmate's room, showed her my phone screen and her response was, "I'll go get the wine and dark chocolate." My sister took me out one day and just sat with me in a silence that acknowledged things were not "okay" - and that it was "okay" to feel that way.
And then the big one... What about going back to school? From the time I was rejected from Oxford, it took me a year and a half to answer that question. I wrestled with it. I so badly wanted back into that world, but was so afraid at the same time. Afraid of spending more emotional energy only to hear "no." Afraid of moving away. Afraid of how much work it would take. But one day, I was sitting across from my boss and I just knew the answer. I had to go back to school. And it was grueling. This time a year ago... whew. Let's just say, I am still shocked I am in grad school. Shocked, but so grateful.
The people I look up to have moved boldly to disentangle themselves from anything keeping them safely nestled in the status quo. They embrace change without fear and keep working through the mundane and the high-pressure without losing sight of their goal. I want to live like that. I want to be with people who live like that, and for me that question begins with "What's keeping you here?" Now, I feel like I am in the place and doing the work that is not "keeping" me back, but propelling me forward...and it's one wild ride!