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The Final Ultimatum: Leave Tonight or Live and Die This Way

You know that feeling within you that ignites during those serendipitous moments when you really see what it means to be living. You think to yourself, “Man, life is good to me. And I’m doing THIS. I am doing me, and I am being me and creating something.” You think to yourself, “I’ve got a feeling I can be someone.”

And it hits you – This is your life. This is your  story. This is your journey. This is who you  are and why you are and how you are.

I was thinking about this today on my way back from dropping off a dear friend at the airport. There I was driving across this gigantic bridge that was taking me over a river with the sun setting on it. As I drove across the bridge I was listening to Tracy Chapman tell the story in her song Fast Car of a young couple dreaming up plans to say goodbye and escape from it all as they chase after the life they’ve always wanted simply based on the one feeling we should always protect – the feeling of hope – the feeling we can be someone.

And I thought about this in my own life. I thought about how it wasn’t that long ago that I got in the car and took off without looking back based on believing in this one simple hope that I could be someone.  I’m still getting there. I’m still doing what I have to do and taking leaps of faith and screwing up and succeeding at the same time.

WHEN THE ROAD STARTS TO CIRCLE

When we’re young we all have this feeling we can be someone. We all have our big dreams and plans and hopes. We’re wide-eyed and ready to take on the world and all that it has to offer.

And then we get a little older and suddenly life starts to catch up with us and life gets a little harder. Shit happens. We screw up. We fail. We get hurt. We hurt others. We get ourselves lost and stuck to the point where we don’t even know where the exit or the entrances is.

Finally, there we sit, clenching our armrests scared to death with no idea where we’re driving this thing. At this point we now have an ultimatum – we can get out of here – head to a new, unknown destination out in the hope-filled horizon, or we can live and die that way – driving around on this road that seems to circle infinitely.

WHEN WE FINALLY PICK AN EXIT

I think we all hit this point a few special times in our lives. And it is by no means easy or simple. Then again, is anything worthwhile and lasting ever as easy as 1-2-3? Hell no! For me personally,  if I think back to these fork-in-the-road-moments in my life I can remember the pain of going through it all, but I wouldn’t change a damn thing.

I wouldn’t take back the heartbreak and uncertainty of going through the ending of a 4 year relationship with someone I deeply love. It was those feelings that taught me what it means to have loved and lost.

I wouldn’t take back the feelings of insecurity and doubt I went through when I lost myself in the limbo of indecision and feeling like I had no direction in my life. It was those feelings that forced me to take that leap of faith and move to China for a year. That was the greatest year of my life.

I wouldn’t take back the feelings of being overwhelmed if I could start my own web design business and reach that location independence lifestyle I’ve always known I needed to be happy. It was those feelings that showed me the power of a work ethic with 110% dedication can get you anything your wildest dreams desire and the naysayers say you can’t have or do.

I wouldn’t take back any of the bullshit or the bad days or the bad friends or the bad choices. The good days and good friends and good choices have outlasted and out numbered all of those things.

Take the Journey to Be SomeoneWHEN WE REALIZE WE CAN BE SOMEONE

I look back on those times and I remember what it’s like to drive on a road that only ever seems to circle back around to its starting point. Sometimes you have put every last ounce of energy and every last piece of you into breaking out of whatever it is that’s stopping you from seeing that there’s an exit and a fork in the road right in front of you.

And you know what happens when you do finally ditch that endless circle? You get that feeling where you can’t help but think and yell from the rooftop and prove to yourself and everyone around you that, “You know what? …I can be someone.”

BE SOMEONE – the world needs you to.

Your Outlook:
So, what are you being and trying to be? How are you inspiring the world and living your dreams by being someone? When did you realize that YOU can be someone.

Share The Luv
If this post post got you remembering that you can be somebody, please share it with the other somebodies you know. You can retweet on Twitter or share on Facebook— and don’t forget to join THE MAD ONES for email updates and LIKE it on FB. Thanks for your support guys!

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About Lauren Rains

Life gets pretty f*cking nuts sometimes, doesn't it? Every day I wake up more to myself and more to this world. This website is an expression of that.

Space Travelers is multi-layered exploration of our existence here on this rock we call Earth. We're going to talk about the matrix, UFOs, and astral travel, and explore our awakening into the divine masculine and feminine. We'll discover our bodies both the physical and subtle body. We'll contemplate the sacredness of mother earth and the concept of who/what the hell made this place in the first place?

I also aim to keep this website rooted and grounded, referring to topics that are effecting us in the here and now, such as fighting against the oppression of women worldwide, pealing away layers of social conditioning greedy capitalists are using to turn us into consumers, and navigating this insane technological revolution before the AI take over. I can geek out on consciousness up in space all day, but life happens here on the ground and this is the time we were born into.

This website is about integrating into our full human experience, aligning with ourselves and with each other, shedding skins and transcending into the unfolding layers of ourselves.

My wish for you, and for myself, is to unfold and evolve into our highest selves. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. We need not sell our souls to the status quo.

I'm on the journey too. I write this blog to speak to others who are waking up, or who desire to wake up. Because we can't do this alone.

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  • Inspiring!!! Thanks Lauren!! I love moments like the one you described, when you just know that you’re on the right path. It’s funny how these moments of reflection tend to come to us more when we’re traveling or on route somewhere. It’s one of the reasons I adore traveling alone. Even just waiting for a flight… There’s something magical about that feeling– like anything is possible. It’s hope.

    • Hey Emilie!!

      Ah I know what you mean 🙂 They always happen during moments of transit. Sometimes they happen too when you reach that final final final destination. Or at the end of it. Like, after my 12 months in China and on that flight home I stared out the window and I thought to myself..damn…I did this. And then I thought…I have so much more to do too 🙂

  • I can so relate to this; however in my story it was a 5 year relationship. But now I feel like:

    wow, I could really be something, much more than I was or ever thought I could be.

    It’s an amazing feeling.

    • Hey Ayngelina!

      It is such an amazing feeling! And you know what? It may be hard as hell to get there, but it’s worth it once you are. It’s funny for me… hopping on a plane to some foreign country I’ve never been to before is so much less scarier than putting a hold on a relationship.
      Life… oh how it is interesting… as well as amazing 🙂

  • Jossie

    Every single stage in life has its ups and downs, and they’re all equally important and necessary. I’ve heard before that the 20s to 30s is the decade where most of the change and progress is made, and then each decade after that is just slightly different and better. For me, I can say I’m completely different than I was in my 20s. I’m much more centered and aware of my priorities, and best of all – emotionally independent. But the dreams don’t fade away, they just change 🙂

    • Hey Jossie!
      “Emotionally Independent” – I really like how you put that. Right on! I think that’s part of the reason I’ve been making some of the decisions and taking some of the actions I’ve been doing lately. I’m getting there right now and it’s feeling really great to see it hapening 🙂

      And also, you’re so right. I was just talking to my best friend about this today on the changes we go through between our 20s and 30s. Even in the last year I have grown up so so so much. I love it. I love the progress.

      Cheers to the dreams never fading Jossie! Thanks for the comment 🙂

  • Emmanuel

    Hi Lauren,
    I recently discovered your website, which lead me to other amazing websites such as Puttylike. I never knew that people out there in the world went and still going through similar situations, that I am currently dealing with. I am a second year University student in Canada and I am in a “limbo” ( Great article about being in a limbo”). I am still undecided on what to study, not because I don’t have any interest or drive, it’s the complete opposite! I have TOO many interests and honestly sometimes this kinda of lifestyle wears me off emotionally. One of my passion is traveling and meeting new people. The thought of traveling, experiencing different cultures, people ect… makes me go happily insane. I can’t even describe it, but i know it fells *right*. I have been debating to stop school for now and actually follow this calling. I don’t want it to die and it won’t leave my alone, unless i do it. But I do have fears and lots of insecurities about the future. I have so many ideas in my head to do, while I will be traveling and i simply cannot put them to rest.
    I know what I want, but not necessary how to get there and i need to learn how to get over the negative voices in my head.
    I just want to thank you! and other like sites like this one. I am finally not alone! Seeing you live this life full of energy makes everything that one has to go through to get there worth it. I know that i am capable of fully being happy! Thank you and good luck to all your future plans

    The almost free Canadian kid….. 🙂

    • Hey Emanuel!

      First of all – Puttylike is amazing! Emilie who writes that blog is such an amazing person and I am so glad that you’ve come across her! 🙂

      Second of all – thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing in your story! Honestly, Emanuel, I was right there with you back in college. And I stil know how you feel! I have so many interests it is really hard for me to pick and choose. But lately I’ve been chasing after my calling and really focusing on my passions and life hasn’t been the same since I finally let myself do that!

      As for travel! Do it! The greatest thing I’ve done is move to China for a year after college! But it doesn’t mean you have to leave school if you don’t want to either. I did a 6 month study abroda in Buenos Aires, Argentina when I was a Junior. I spent a summer living in the French Riviera after my Freshman year. That’s the thing – YOU CAN DO IT ALL! You can travel, and study, and learn, and be, and create! You can do it all you just have to let yourself and believe you can do it!

      All I can say Emanuel is just by reading your comment I know you have the passion and the mind to do it and I will accept nothing less from you!

      Cheers… to the free Canadian kid 🙂
      laur 🙂

  • I’m pretty sure I always thought I could be someone but I think I must have just put it on hold during my first marriage. Maybe I was in denile but if I was being completely honest, I was being a coward and knew it would fail eventually. I was just staying the socially appropriate amount of time before leaving. But once I left, I never looked back!

    • Hey Jess!

      haha yea sometimes once you walk away from something you just can’t look back. And there are many reasons not to look back too. You take away the lessons and you learn from them but after that it’s all moving forward 🙂 I’ve totally been there with you in just being too scared to leave something. But when you know yo have to do something, you just have to do it or you’ll be restless forever.
      Cheers to making your choice to live your life how you want to Jess!
      – Laur 🙂

  • I really enjoyed this post! I absolutely love that song and every time I hear it I think about how deep it is, I don’t know it’s always been one of those very soulful songs to me!

    I think that you are making some great points here and it is really important to go out on a limb when you are in crisis (whether with yourself, your job, etc.) sometimes people are blinded by their situation and need to be removed. It can be hard to see your potential when there are so many other factors. It seems like the world wants to tell you how to live all the time. Following your dream may not bring you instant success but it definitely will bring you success in the long run!

    • Hey Annie!!
      I know this song is so beautiful! I can’t stop listening to it 🙂

      “sometimes people are blinded by their situation and need to be removed” – this is so true. It’s like “sleeping on it” ya know. Sometimes you just need to walk away and wake up the next morning refreshed in order to know what to do! One of the best choices I have ever made was removing myself from the situations I was unhappy with so I could sort of start from scratch and then figure out what part of the old things I wanted with the new things.

      Thanks for sharing Annie!
      Laur 🙂

  • Hi Lauren,

    Good post- makes me feel like I can be someone who makes a difference in life. I always knew I had it in me, just always feel like I’m holding back. Just unable to commit to it that 100%

    Of course I could regret that I didn’t do things differently, but then what is the point of that. The only thing to regret is not doing things. I am learning and growing day by day. Thank you for your encouragement, the world definitely needs more people like you who want to BE SOMEONE

    • Hey David!!

      Well you are someone to me 🙂 Sometimes I question if I really can be the someone I want to be… negative self talk is a nasty little bastard haha… but through thick and thin I’m pretty confident we will both be the somebodies we have a feeling we can be 🙂

      Just the fact you’re growing and learning day by day is so great and so important. Think of how many people live in this little bubble where day after day they just let their minds fade into an abyss and there’s never any challenge or growth. You’re living your life!
      Cheers to being SOMEONE David!
      – Lauren 🙂

      • Thanks Lauren, don’t you ever let self doubt hold you back.

        We may fail time and time again, but we get back up, we take a deep breath and we step forward again. We have dreams and we have hopes and we just need patience, persistence and guts. We are making a difference, we are and we will 🙂

  • Skott and Shawna

    This incredibly well-written post could not have been more timely. This morning we are going in early to give our notice at work, informing them that, beginning in mid-June we will be travelling together for the next 12-15 months. At least. This is tough for us, as work for us is not necessarily the cubicle hell that many others desire to escape from. It is a fast-moving, entertaining, well-paid job which has treated us exceptionally well….the butterflies in our stomach are working double time. We are nervous, sad, scared, yet ridiculously excited at the same time…..thanks for your motivational story.

    • Hey Skott & Shawna!

      First of all, I like how you spell your name Skott haha.
      Second of all, that is so awesome you’ve found a job that you love. What do you do? And hey, hopefully it’ll be there 12-15 months down the road and you’ll be bringing back all these new experiences with you to help you do an even better job! World travel makes people smarter, think faster, more creative, more worldly and just well, awesome 🙂
      What you’re doing is definitely quite scary but I really admire you for doing it! Good luck giving your notice! And I can’t wait to find out more about your adventurous amazing travels over the next year and a half!!!!
      – Laur 🙂

      PS – If you go to China hit me up! I lived there for a year and can answer any and all ? you may have!!!

      • Skott and Shawna

        We are actual in sales and advertising, selling radio airtime…yeah, if we end up in the same city when we return, we would definitely consider looking into these jobs again. The giving of the notice went swimmingly well – Thanks!

        China isn’t on the itinerary as of yet, but you know how those travel plans go….!

        Happy Weekend!

  • Sarah Eberle

    Hey Laur:
    Finally made my way onto your new blog! This entry really resonated with me and made me feel nostalgic for Beijing! It’s so true, living in Beijing last year truly was one of the most amazing years of my life too. We explored new things, felt sad, alone, unsure, understood, blissfully happy, bored, and exhilarated all at the same time. It was wonderful going through all that with you. I’ll never forget the awesome hiking trips, trivia nights, your deck parties, and sitting on top of the roof at The Treehouse Bar in Nanluoguxiang with you and Veronica, just talking about life, love, and all the details in between. For me, the outcome of my year in Beijing was the ending of my 2.5 year relationship; the discovery of a new culture I never realized I was interested in; incredible new friendships that I wouldn’t trade for the world; unexpected romantic escapades; a clearer sense of the career path I wanted to follow; and also an acceptance of the uncertainty and simultaneous failures and successes that come with trying different career options and allowing myself to be “in limbo” while I discover that career I am most passionate about. As far as my relationship with Alex ending (which you know was unfortunately a major theme in my life for a few months), its amazing how upset and confused I felt, but at this point, I can’t imagine what my life would be like now if it hadn’t ended, and I am incredibly grateful that it did. No regrets, and no looking back. And further, miss you giiiiirl! I hope you come back to the NY metro area soon and we need to catch up soon. 🙂 And also, this kinda inspires me to start my own blog. Though unfortunately, I am not the most tech-savvy.

  • Great post – and I forgot how much I loved that song and why…
    Working through heartbreak, uncertainty, self-doubt…take a lot of courage. I ended a 10 year marriage to break free of a safe little box. It took over 2 years to decide and 2 years to get through it. Wouldn’t change a thing.

    I look forward to more of your adventures!

  • This is such an inspiring post Lauren. and yes, I’ve experienced that feeling of being on the brink of “being someone” a few times in my life. Sometimes I take a wrong turn here or there, but I love taking a step back and scoping out the avenues I haven’t explored yet.

    And that song is perfect. It’s one of those songs that makes you reflect on your life and relish the hope of freedom.

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  • Hey Lauren, funny. I just wrote a post like yours.
    http://runawayjuno.com/2011/05/31/when-life-gives-you-lemons/

    I realized I can be better, I can’t live like this forever, and I am who I am. Most of all, I want to be happy. Because I’m a happy kid! And deep down, I already knew the answer. Just afraid, I think. And I have a lot of potential. I hate when people made me doubt that.
    Great post Lauren!