Starting Over Can Lead To Your Rebirth

Starting Over Can Lead To Your Rebirth

I have a secret.  I used to be homeless.  As is the case for most, it wasn’t entirely by choice.  However, it was something that I felt had to happen in order for me to start again with a clean slate.  At the time, I literally had nothing but the clothes on my back and an eight-month-old child in tow.  We were on our own and I was scared.  I’d left everything and everyone that I knew behind. Starting over was frightening, even when it’s something that you know you MUST do.

At some point in your life, you are faced with a choice: a decision to continue on a path that you know (deep down) is detrimental to your well-being or taking another path that leads to sanity.  It’s literally about taking a stand for yourself. I think that we all know people who are quick to stand in defense of others, yet are reticent to fight for their own survival.

For example, a mother will stay in an abusive relationship but would only consider leaving when her child is threatened.  Only then does she decide to make haste and end the volatile relationship.  They are quick to guard and protect their young but don’t realize the disservice they’re doing by allowing their child’s mother to be in harm’s way and the psychological ramifications for those children as a result.  That same anger and vitriol that they expend on behalf of loved ones who are wronged could and should also be used to save themselves.

We stay in bad relationships, dead end jobs and one horse towns because we have allowed ourselves to adjust to the fear that keeps us from changing our circumstances.  We’ve declared that we’ve invested too much time to just walk away from it all.  I think it’s imperative to not waste one more day doing what you know you should not be doing.  With some investments, you have to take a ‘loss’ and at the same time, some risks yield great dividends. You should assess and determine what exactly is compelling you to stay?  Does the good outweigh the bad?  Are you thriving and growing in your present situation?  Or are you just drowning and praying that someone would notice and throw out a lifeline?

Leaving everything that you’ve co-existed with is not easy.  I certainly do not want to give anyone that impression.  It’s easier to go with the flow, to not ruffle feathers and keep the status quo of easy, dull, predictable and boring.  The best things in life usually come with a price, otherwise, we wouldn’t value it.  You must be willing to take a risk for the chance of opening yourself up to the possibilities that life is more than what you are presently experiencing.  The familiarity of merely existing can feel comforting simply because it’s what you know and what you’re used to and what numbs you from the reality that you have a life that’s passing you by.

Just because you are ‘used to’ something doesn’t mean it’s something you should continue to do.  It’s like going to the doctor and saying “Doctor when I hold my head like this, it hurts” and the doctor replies, “Well, stop holding it like that!”.  Simple, yes?  The freedom that you gain from not being tied down to something that holds little value is worth it.  You really aren’t losing when you remove a toxic situation from your life.  You’re opening the door to new experiences, new challenges and a new way of living that you have constructed.  And when someone accuses you of being selfish, just remember that you have to save yourself first.  There’s a reason why you’re instructed to put the oxygen mask on first during a flight.  You can’t help anyone if you’re out cold.

I’ve always believed that when one door closes another opens.  Life has its own safety net, it’s called resilience and tenacity.  The life that you think is everything (and in my case….the best that I thought I could do) will pale in importance as time becomes the teacher.  You will look back and marvel at your pain threshold when you realize that you stayed as long as you did.

Cliched it may be, but life really does get better and more meaningful if we strive to make it so.  I have come a long way in so many marvelous ways.  I have earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing, I own my home, I have a wonderful job, own a successful travel blog and I travel around the world with my daughter.

As soon as I stopped offering up every excuse under the heavens as to why I was continuing to tell myself that things were OK when I was slowly decomposing inside, things began to blossom as soon as my expectations began to rise.

I look back at the time when once, I had nothing; now there is little I want for.  Starting over forces you to clear the cobwebs of your former life and allows you to direct it in a more useful way.  You will begin to discover new found or simply previously hidden strengths and the confidence to use them.  It’s amazing how much we can accomplish once negative influences are removed and our true selves are revealed.

When all is said and done, you really do get the life that you deserve and at the very least, the one that you’ve earned.  Sure, there are external roadblocks that will pop up along the way.  The thing is, if you accept it, you are making a decision about which direction you want your life to go.  Humans are meant to live purposefully, not painfully…at least not all of the time!

If you wake up every day with a pit in the middle of your stomach because you dread the thought of having to put on another face that doesn’t belong to you, it’s time for a change.  Take a stand today and take the first step to designing the life that you want….name it and claim it.  It’s right there…waiting for you.  Now go out and get it.



Renee King
[email protected]
  • Kent
    Posted at 14:17h, 25 September Reply

    Wow, Renee – are you EVER speaking our language here.

    I like that you say:

    “Just because you are ‘used to’ something doesn’t mean it’s something you should continue to do.”


    “If you wake up everyday with a pit in the middle of your stomach because you dread the thought of having to put on another face that doesn’t belong to you, it’s time for a change.”

    Words to live by.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Renee
      Posted at 17:22h, 25 September Reply

      Thanks, Kent….the beauty of it is that it’s simplistic, but true. We are so programmed to think that life should be predictable and look the same day in and day out. We won’t allow ourselves the pleasure of reaching deep down inside to discover who we really are because then we will have no more excuses to hide in obscurity once the truth has been exposed.

  • Scott - Quirky Travel Guy
    Posted at 14:48h, 25 September Reply

    You have definitely come a long way! Getting out of negative situations can be hard but it is definitely worth it.

    • Renee
      Posted at 17:19h, 25 September Reply

      Amen, Scott….it is so worth it!

  • Isra
    Posted at 15:47h, 25 September Reply

    Wow, what an amazing story Renee! I always say no one has excuses for not succeeding, and you are living proof. I cant imagine what you were going through with a tiny 8 month old to care for. You are a bright, beautiful amazing mama! Im also crazy about your blog, I love travel too! I cant seem to stay in one place for too long. By the way, any interest in a frugal travel guest post on my blog? 😉

    • Renee
      Posted at 17:18h, 25 September Reply

      Hi Isra! Thanks….I agree…..and I used to be one of those…”Well, I want things to be different, but…….” Which means, disregard what I’ve said before the BUT because this is what I really think! We can become the best excuse makers in the business because there is that fear of the unknown that we have to get past. Thanks for your beautiful comment…..I love your blog too….it’s, guys. I would love to do a guest post on your blog….I will email you!

  • allison
    Posted at 16:42h, 25 September Reply

    I could pick out a dozen favorite quotes from this, but this one hit home the most:

    “We’ve declared that we’ve invested too much time to just walk away from it all. I think it’s imperative to not waste one more day doing what you know you should not be doing.”

    I wish I had read this a year and a half ago. Or even before that. I’ve definitely stayed in situations that made me unhappy, just because they were “established” and people expected certain things of me. It’s interesting though – once I got out of it, people never judged me like I assumed they would. Most admire the ability to get out of a situation and make life better for yourself, even if you struggle.

    Excellent post.

    • Renee
      Posted at 17:15h, 25 September Reply

      Thanks, Allison. I think that you bring up an excellent point. There can be an extreme amount of pressure from family/friends/name an outsider to not rock the boat. While staying in limbo may work quite well for them, we know ourselves better than anyone else. Ultimately, it has to be our own decision to move forward or stay behind. Like I told Alouise, it’s never as bad as we think it will be… fact, you usually end up asking “What took me so long?!” lol

  • Alouise
    Posted at 16:44h, 25 September Reply

    Very inspirational story Renee. It took me several years to learn that I didn’t have to stay in a crappy situation just because I was “used to it” as you put it. I think sometimes we get so focused on our lives, on the little issues that happen on a day to day basis, that we don’t take a moment to step back and look at the bigger picture and ask “am I truly happy?” I stayed at a job I hated for years because I didn’t think I could do any better, but as soon as I left things improved. The good thing about being in a situation like that is I’ll always remember how awful it felt, and I’ll know that I’ll never let things get that bad again.

    • Renee
      Posted at 17:01h, 25 September Reply

      You are right. It’s scary to contemplate all of the ramifications of taking a big step forward. The amazing thing is once you’ve done it, you realize that all of the supposed drama was really in your head. It almost always turns out well and if it doesn’t that ‘failure’ serves as a lesson to move forward but with a modified plan. I’m so glad that you took that leap of faith.

  • InsideJourneys
    Posted at 07:24h, 26 September Reply

    I just wrote a comment on another blog about my shift to working for me.
    I’m glad you were able to change your life and I hope that you’ll inspire someone else to have the courage to do what you did. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Jeremy Branham
    Posted at 11:50h, 26 September Reply

    I had no idea what you had gone through to get where you are today. Here are my thoughts on this. Whenever someone has come from a difficult background or had to make some difficult choices, I think taking risks and making changes is a little easier because you have perspective and know what it’s like to be in a tough place and still survive. When you’ve lived your entire life being comfortable, life changing decisions can be much tougher to make because you don’t really understand the risk, haven’t been on the other side, and don’t know if you can make it.

    Stories like this are encouraging and gives people hope and courage to evaluate their lives.

  • Stephanie - The Travel Chica
    Posted at 17:42h, 26 September Reply

    We look at happy, successful people and assume that they started off on the right path. Sharing personal stories like this helps others realize it’s never too late to start over.

  • Christy
    Posted at 18:53h, 26 September Reply

    Beautiful post, Renee! It’s like you took the words right out of my mouth. Well, you said them better than I would have, but it’s exactly what I’ve been saying to my friends and family for years and even more so the past couple of weeks. You are awesome for taking the leap and sharing it with others.

  • Debbie Beardsley
    Posted at 19:24h, 26 September Reply

    We all get stuck in situations that aren’t good for us. I hope your words of wisdom based on your trials and tribulations will help someone change sooner. It must have been hard sharing this part of you but I want to thank you. We all need to have a little wake up call every now and then.

  • adventureswithben
    Posted at 19:48h, 26 September Reply

    Thanks for taking a risk and sharing this deeply personal part of your history. It makes your story all the more richer.

  • ElleX
    Posted at 20:55h, 26 September Reply

    Renee, this is a very inspirational post! I love this line: “Take a stand today and take the first step to designing the life that you want….name it and claim it. It’s right there…waiting for you. Now go out and get it.”

  • Kelly
    Posted at 22:08h, 26 September Reply

    Good for you Renee! This post was beautiful and inspirational. I too, clawed my way out a pretty ugly past, like so many others. I remember once when I was going through some of the worst of it, my mother said to me “you can either choose to let this affect you forever, or you can choose to let it go.” At the time it seemed impossible to let go, but I did, and I was able to move past the past. Sometimes just knowing you have a choice to live the life you want to live is incredibly empowering.

    • Renee
      Posted at 16:07h, 28 September Reply

      Thanks, Kelly! Yes, I remember your story….you have much to be proud of. Your mother is a wise one, sometimes we think our answers will come like a thunderbolt from on high when really it’s more like a gentle nudge or push that eventually leads you in the right direction. I think we are all whole from birth to death…’s just that we may be 50% negative and 50% positive…..whenever we let go of one, we make room to receive more of the other. The beauty of all of it, is that we have the choice as to which one it will be.

  • Peggy McPartland
    Posted at 23:24h, 26 September Reply

    Renee, thank you for sharing yourself so wholeheartedly! It’s not always easy to make ourselves that vulnerable. Your story is indeed amazing.

    “Leaving everything that you’ve co-existed with is not easy. It’s easier to go with the flow, to not ruffle feathers…” You speak for many of us with this statement. It’s definitely harder for some of us to reach deep down during those difficult situations we’re in to figure out who we are and where we want to be. It can be so frightening to make that change and ruffle those feathers, but once we’re able to look back, we wish we’d been able to do it sooner.

    Thanks for your beautiful words.

    • Renee
      Posted at 09:29h, 27 September Reply

      It was somewhat cathartic, Peggy……I am toying with the idea of another life-change and was inspired to reach back and recall my first rebirth. Life is evolutionary and fluid, so we must continue to carve a path that leads to our ultimate bliss.

  • Technosyncratic
    Posted at 09:16h, 27 September Reply

    It’s obvious this post is written from the heart, Renee, and it’s so beautifully articulated. Reading this came at just the right time for me, as I sometimes forget what I (should) know. I try very hard to be compassionate but persistent with myself, but it’s funny how we forget. 🙂

    • Renee
      Posted at 08:48h, 28 September Reply

      Thanks, Christy! I’m glad that it spoke to you too.

  • Maddie
    Posted at 09:47h, 29 September Reply

    Full of wisdom! Love these inspirational quotes! Thanks for sharing your story. Great!

  • jenjenk
    Posted at 22:27h, 30 September Reply

    what a wonderful truth. thank you so much for sharing and opening up about your life. it is so inspiring to see in action how hard work and dedication can bring about change. you are an awesome and amazing woman!!!

  • Lola
    Posted at 15:18h, 01 October Reply

    Such a beautiful post Renee and one that resonates with so many of us. “Resilience and tenacity”…those two words are key. It’s how we call come out on the other side. How we last through it all.

  • Michael Figueiredo
    Posted at 21:59h, 07 October Reply

    This is a beautiful post, Renee! It’s wonderful that you can share such a personal story with us. 🙂

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