The Thing About Starting Over

It happens time and time again. It’s probably happened to you…

We graduate from high-school and we tell ourselves that we need a change, we need to get away from it all and go far, far away to ‘start over’.

We graduate from college and again, tell ourselves it’s time for a fresh start – that we’ve been in the same routine for 21 years and it’s time to finally  ‘start over’.

We’re at a crummy job – working for the man and dreading every single day, or maybe we don’t even dislike what we do, we just get bored – and something inside tells us it’s time to ‘start over’.

The thing about “starting over”

We, as a society, as humans, are obsessed with starting over. We crave new beginnings, we relish in our moments of resolution.

The day you say you’re going to move away. The day you say you’re going to start running and being healthy. The day you say you’re done with an unhealthy relationship or a bad work environment.

But the thing about starting over is, it doesn’t have to be this monumental event, it doesn’t have to happen all at once, and, once you make you’re decision, you aren’t automatically stuck with it.

What holds you back?

I think (very) often what holds us back is fear. Fear of change, and more specifically, fear of making that resolution, starting over, and realizing that maybe it wasn’t the best decision, that maybe you want to go back to the way things were.

You quit your job to pursue starting your own company, but after a while realize that the corporate world wasn’t as evil as you made it out to be.

You break up with your long-term boyfriend/girlfriend and after dating around, realize that you were truly in love with that person.

You move far away to start a new life, then realize that everything you wanted was where you came from.

We’re afraid to hear “I told you so” – we’re afraid to be labeled as “wrong” – and, whether it’s true or not, we don’t want to come across to other’s that we’ve “given up”.

The beauty of coming full circle

But here’s the thing – when you come full circle, you’re still starting over, and odds are, you’re coming back with (so) much more than you left with. More life experience, more failures, more successes.

I moved back to Nashville last week after spending only a year in Chicago. A lot of people asked me “why”? I have my reasons, the tangible one’s that serve as a worthy enough explanation to those who ask – but the bigger picture is that this is where I, and we (my wife and I) want to be.

I wasn’t wrong for quitting my job, moving, any of that. It was the best thing I could have ever done. I learned more about success and failure, being an entrepreneur, and the importance of family in one year than I have in my entire life. I came back to Nashville in an entirely different (personal and professional) situation than how I left – it’s being in the place I spent nearly my entire life, but looking at it through a completely different lens.

Don’t be afraid to move away, try new things, start over.

But also don’t hesitate to ‘go back’ – you’re not selling out or settling by trying something new, realizing it isn’t quite for you, and re-appreciating what you had all along

What positive examples do you have of a time you ‘started over’ only to eventually go back to where things started?