Here’s the thing: We’re supposed to change. That’s kind of the whole point of being alive and it is truly the only constant in life. And yet, we often resist change. Resent it even. Fear it and neglect it and claim we want everything to stay the same.
We become attached to people and places and versions of ourselves that we can literally feel slipping through our fingers. But instead of letting these things go, we try to hold on to them even tighter. We make excuses, we hunt for loopholes, we do an impressive amount of mental gymnastics desperately trying to make situations or relationships or habits that no longer work continue to fit in our lives.
We often do this because we’re comfortable in our current circumstances. (Or maybe the better word is complacent.) Whatever the reason, to cling to things that are no longer meant for us will only prolong our suffering, not to mention put off the inevitable. Because things will change, whether we like it or not, and we can either learn to ride the waves of flux or keep swimming against its current until we’re utterly exhausted and have no choice left but to let go.
Of course, sometimes, it can be difficult to know when we’re on the cusp of transition. As such, here are six concrete signs you’re outgrowing your current life chapter.
1. You’re anxious.
Your anxiety has been off the charts lately, but not because of anything that is really all that anxiety-inducing. Rather, the things that are making you anxious are facets of your everyday life and routine. Everything is beginning to feel stifling and redundant, and you’re desperate to escape the monotony. But you’re not sure what step to take next.
2. You’re struggling to sleep.
Because dreams of the life you could be living are keeping you up at night. Those inklings that exist in the back of your mind are only becoming louder and more insistent, prodding you that you could be doing more, doing better, doing something different.
3. You have been needing much more alone time than usual.
You have been feeling completely disconnected from your family and friends. You can’t explain why, but you have this constant urge to be alone so you can self-reflect and figure out why you feel so stuck.
4. Your usual coping mechanisms aren’t cutting it anymore.
For example, going out until 2 AM or throwing yourself into work or consuming yourself with your friends’ problems no longer distracts you in the ways that they used to. Because the truth of the matter is that you’re sick of coping; you want to heal.
5. What you used to find fun now feels forced.
You’re just counting down the minutes until you can go home when you’re out and about. You feel listless and uninspired by your surroundings and company. You’re basically just going through the motions, doing things that you think you “should” be enjoying because these are things you have historically enjoyed.
6. If you’re being honest with yourself, you don’t really like who you’re becoming.
You know deep down that the way you are living isn’t aligned with who you want and are meant to be. You understand that you cannot continue on the path you’re on.
And even though you may not know what’s next, that doesn’t mean you can’t at least begin to change directions. After all, when you read a book, you aren’t sure what’s going to happen in one chapter from the next. But that doesn’t stop you from continuing to read the story.
The choice is yours. Stay the same (or turn the page).