Our lives are bubbles of routine. I say that because we don’t live life; we live routine. We’re caught up in our jobs, we go out twice a week, we meet the family on the weekend – it’s all set. In the bargain, we don’t have a clue about who we are inside.
Everyone, even the Queen of England, at some point, has wanted to pack up and head. Nobody knows where, but all they know is that they’ve had enough with the routine. And honestly, it’s a legitimate feeling. So what’s standing in your way?
You need perspective, and for that you need a year off. Dedicated to yourself. Here’s why
1. It gives you time off
You’ve been so caught up in that bubble called routine, that somewhere inside you’re lost. But you finally have the time to find yourself. Maybe you’re fed up of the career you’ve chosen, maybe a bad relationship has taken its toll on you. Get out there and get set to live.
2. You get to travel
Taking a year off means you’re going to settle down in a new town or village. Which gives you ample opportunity to explore both the place you’re at, and yourself in this place. It’s a bit like starting from scratch – new home, new food, new sights and developing you.
3. You meet a lot of people
You can never get bored of people. Each one is unique, comes with their own story and has their own future. You’ll make a lot of new friends in this time. For the long haul.
4. You’ll learn to adapt
With this whole-life-overhaul-of-sorts, your new experiences are only going to make you a master at adapting. If you didn’t already know this, there’s nothing like being comfortable with change and unpredictability.
5. You’ll have a better resume
Since you’re going to have to fend for yourself, you’re going to need a job. So whether it’s a diving instructor in the Andamans, or a waitress in London, your resume is going to have more experiences to boast of.
6. You can figure out what you actually want to do in life
A year off dabbling with different jobs and people gives you a chance at doing what you really want to do. In the bargain you could make a career out of anything your heart desires. You could find you have a thing for gardening, or that you have a way with people. And all that you’re discovering about yourself could actually help you narrow down on what it is that you actually like to do.
7. You can develop your hobbies
By stepping out of the routine 9-5 job, you’ve essentially given yourself more time to pursue other interests. Think you have a knack for singing? Jam with a band, and fix up a gig for Tuesday evenings. It’ll be fun, and your heart will thank you for it. Or spend some time on your body. Try your hand at yoga. It’ll really sort your inner self out.
8. It’s an opportunity to grow
This journey of self-discovery, so to speak, is going to make you grow. Chances are you won’t even recognize the person you were when you started out. Give yourself that chance to breathe and focus on the things you want to focus on. You’ll only be happier for it.
9. You’ll learn to value the things that matter
Relationships, kindness, thoughtfulness are the sort of things that actually matter in life. Money and financial security are necessary, but are not the meaning of life. Nobody’s going to respect you if you’re an A-hole sitting on a goldmine.
10. You’ll have time to introspect
Time on your own breeds thinking on your own. It’s important to think about where you are in life, where you want to be, the sort of struggle you’re ready to deal with, the sort of pain you really cannot deal with and so on. A year off de-clutters your mind, and you can actually think about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Year off for the win!