Reading The Everygirls’ article about the “20-Minute Rule” and the power of taking just 20 minutes to “delete” your grief, losses, or messages of bad news and then moving on, it occurred to me that maybe this was a good approach to more than just coping but also for creating the life you want. Before Wildernest, I was in the process of starting over, having spent my years post-college working in exclusively traditional (read: spirit-squelching) corporate jobs until I left it all… which eventually and unexpectedly led me to meeting the love of my life and moving to Bali (I know, I know – old news if you’ve read my bio).

Part of this “renew and reset” was the intention of discovering what to do next and figuring out what I wanted to do that I actually gave a shit about. I had enough savings to travel and live in Bali for a bit while I worked on creating space, balance, and purpose in my life. I never intended to stay in Bali very long, but every day gave me another reason that I should. With this seed starting to germinate in my mind (wait, this IS your real life!) I realized that in my quest for balance, I had tipped the scales a little too far to the other side.

As unexpected as this may be, since I was living in my paradise, my life was starting to feel as unbalanced as it did when I was part of the corporate machine – but just in exactly the opposite way. The heavier side of finding space is intertwined with the most elusive thing I was hoping to find – purpose. If you lack purpose, too much time and space becomes a very dangerous place for the mind.

Now please remember, this was how I was feeling before Wildernest. At the time I started to feel particularly… well… useless, I started desperately trying to figure out some way to make money to support this dream lifestyle I’d found. My first thought was to see if I could find a corporate job that would allow me to work remotely, knowing that this would probably land me back in the world of sales where I wouldn’t give a flying fart in space about what I was doing. But it’s human nature to return to what you know because it feels safe – even if it bores you to actual death.

So I went on a hunt. I scoured the Internet looking for remote jobs of any kind that looked even slightly interesting. What I then found myself doing was trying to “massage” my past experience to fit the requirements of these new possible directions. I was trying so freaking hard to convince the recruiters (and myself) that embedded DEEP in my resume were all sorts of skills and interests that were absolutely perfect for the job, but in reality JUST DIDN’T EXIST. And wasn’t actually want I wanted.

It felt so wrong. All it really accomplished was making me feel like I had no skills whatsoever and that I would never make money again and inevitably end up living under a bridge like a troll. Then I read the article I mentioned earlier and it got me thinking – maybe I should just look my resume in the eye, thank it for its service, and then let it the F go because it’s just no longer serving me. Because all it would ever get me was more of the same. More corporate. More sales. More offices and quotas and heartless corporations and probably eventually bunions from uncomfortable pointy stilettos.

I made the decision that what I needed was to take my metaphorical 20 minutes to reflect on my past work expectations and then press delete. Rather than fitting a square peg into a round hole, realize that a hole is a crappy place to be anyway. So let go and move the hell on.

Now, I pose these questions to you:

Are you trying to start something new but are being held back by your past, who you were rather than who you want to be, your preconceptions, or anything else that might be keeping you confined?

What could you accomplish if you realized that you are not your past and it doesn’t need to dictate your future?

What are you waiting for?


gabi defosse

Copy Director

Bali, Indonesia

After several years working in film packaging and comedy talent management in Los Angeles, then somehow transitioning into a role as a Client Executive at IBM, Gabi took over a year off, met the love of her life, traveled the world, and moved to Bali. There she met a woman who liked her extensive vocabulary and bizarre sense of humor. Now she’s a writer. Building Wildernest has given her a platform to help other women who may have taken a similarly circuitous route to figure out their true callings.

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