For those of you who are not aware of what a gap year is or have never heard the term; a gap year is a year spent taking time off between life stages. An increasingly popular option, it provides time for traveling, volunteering, learning a new language, or experiencing any number of other activities for personal growth. Typically, students take a gap year after graduating from high school and before attending college, but I took one around the end of 2016 after making a MAJOR life DECISION. And boy, was it a doozy. I was completely terrified of altering my life at this point although it was all that I needed, it was not exactly what I wanted to do so I chose to not and took the time necessary to make my mind up on what I was going to do next.
I poured myself into doing the exact opposite of what I would normally do, as I knew that discomfort is the foundation of change. My comfort zone had taken me so far and I was willing to risk quite a bit in order to grow and blossom into a different sort of flower. I had no idea how challenging it would be to try to morph into a different being as that was my intent. I wanted to drastically change my mindset and become more loving, caring, and selfless. Who knew where the year would take me and how far I would go in order to reach this pinnacle I had set up in my head. My mission was to do things that I had never done, engage in activities that I normally would not, and beguile people I would not normally in order to mature into the woman that I felt I needed to be.
The gap year started off with my opening up my heart to different possibilities and really trying to be less judgmental to others than I typically would be. I really felt that the way you judge others is the way you judge yourself, so I actively worked on practicing compassion with others as well as more with myself. I wanted to expand my capacity to love and knew that I would have to give more of myself than I usually did and be more open to looking at others the way that I look at myself. I tend to not give many chances and understanding to situations that don't make sense to me, and that was needing to change in order for me to get closer to the life I desired to have.
Getting out of your comfort zone, is just that...uncomfortable. Yet, I placed myself in the truest gamble of life and stretched myself further than ever and discovered that not only am I extremely flexible, I am able to accept myself more than I have in the past. The juicy part of life is that you CAN get what you think of and the magic of conjuring up your reality leads to some amazing adventures and experiences. My gap year lasted a few months over a year, but it was completely filled with moments of anxiety, bliss, disappointment, joy and lessons that will last as long as I can remember them. I highly recommend anyone wanting to make a change to take a "gap year" and reconnect with who you truly desire to be.