From mending a broken relationship to ending one, here are eight things that I did that changed my life entirely for the best.
Let’s jump right in.
1. I took accountability for my actions
I’m not a blamer. While external parties play a role in all of our lives, I’m not someone who likes to point the finger at others and blame them for my problems. I often ask myself what role I played in whatever situation I’m going through. I do this because I realise that while I cannot control other people’s actions, I can control mine.
One thing I’ve noticed is that so few people are willing to take accountability for their actions.
It’s easier for them to blame a parent, sibling, employer, coworker or spouse for their problems. They rarely acknowledge the role they play.
For years I wasn’t good with money. I gave it away to people who needed it. I spent it on meaningless things and failed to secure my safety net. Whenever a family member needed help, I gave it to them.
I figured, that’s what we’re put here to do: to help each other. But, a friend quickly reminded me that I needed to secure my financial life before overextending myself to others.
I didn’t blame the people who asked me for money. I blamed myself for not setting boundaries. Lesson learned.
2. I isolated
Isolation is not only beneficial to growth, sometimes, it’s mandatory. Getting alone in that quiet place where you’re consumed by your thoughts, emotions and God make for some interesting revelations. I had to isolate.
It was during that isolation that I really questioned what I wanted for my life, where I wanted to be, what I wanted to do and what impact I wanted to have.
None of the answers would have come had I not separated from the pack and taken the time to be alone.
During my isolation, I learned what I was willing and unwilling to tolerate. I also learned that I am bolder and much stronger than I originally thought I was.
3. I relocated
Relocating to the US was hands down one of the wisest decisions I made. I have never been content to be a big fish in a small pond. I have always wanted to roll with the big boys. I truly feel like I can accomplish anything I’m willing to work for because there is an avenue and an audience for it. I didn’t have that back home.
Moving to DC also exposed me to the best of the best. It allowed me to expand my circle beyond my comfort zone.
The Bahamas is quite homogeneous for the most part. Naturally, we get a lot of visitors and expats from various parts of the world, but many of them are transient. Not many nationalities are represented in my tiny country.
I work with so many different types of people and I love it. I’ve learned so much from my colleagues – about their culture, languages, food, etc. Each of them has given me a masterclass in life.
4. I was willing to start from the bottom again
If I had a theme song it would be Drake’s Started From The Bottom. Seriously.
I have done really well in my previous field, but relocating to the US meant starting a country where I’m not known and had no professional contacts. Back in Nassau, I was connected. In DC, it’s completely different.
As a result, I’ve had to work harder to get my name out there and make an impact. While it’s been challenging, it’s also been rewarding and every day I see how my efforts are paying off.
5. I started my YouTube channel
I pushed the upload button on my Youtube channel three years ago and haven’t looked back.
I stated creating video content because I wanted to share my talent with the world and as an introvert, I wanted to get out of my shell.
As of today, I have more than 5,400 subscribers. Now, compared to YouTubers with millions of subscribers, that number is a drop in the bucket. But, I look back on where I started and I am so proud of myself.
I have remained consistent and fully in love with content creation. In the three year since creating videos, I have only missed an upload once (one day behind schedule) due to a bad illness. I am committed.
As a result, I am interacting with people all over the world that I would have never met in my personal capacity.
I have honed my skills as an on-air personality, learned how to edit Final Cut Pro; learned how to create thumbnails and have become highly proficient with the technical aspects of cinematography.
Every day my channel grows and I can’t wait to look back on this post and see how far I’ve come.
6. I started listening to God and waiting
For those of you who don’t know me, please know this: I can be very impatient. Like really impatient. I want what I want now.
If there’s one singular thing that I did that changed my life entirely, it was that I started really listening to God and waiting for His prompting.
Now, I will admit I struggle in this area because, as I mentioned, I am impatient.
But, every day I learn to get quiet and listen for His commands.
I remember years ago I was on a job that I absolutely hated . . . with a capital H. I had made the decision to resign. The moment that thought entered my head, God told me to wait. He then told me that He would tell me when to move.
So, I stayed put. But, as time passed, I grew impatient (hey, it’s me, what can I say) and I said to myself, ‘well, since God hasn’t given me a timeline, I’m just going to quit because I hate this job.’ Just as I had that thought, God’s still small voice came through again, urging me to hang tight. It was at that point that I decided to cool my heels, and honestly, that was the best decision.
I’m not saying that waiting is easy. It’s not. But, if you’re looking to transform your life – and you’re a believer – you’re going to have to learn to listen to God and wait.
7. I mended my relationship with my father
For two years I didn’t speak to my father. We had a disagreement on Valentine’s Day and he broke my heart. I’m not making this up.
Our relationship has always been somewhat strained. I was raised by my mother, but he was in my life all my life, always taking care of his financial obligations.
My father is a man of few words and can be quite cold when he’s ready. It’s just who he is. Anyhoo, things got so bad that I didn’t call him or visit him for two years.
From time-to-time my mummy would ask me when’s the last time I spoke to my father and my reaction would be horrible.
I hated the thought of him and often said to myself that if he died I wouldn’t go to the funeral. Yeah, he hurt me that bad.
It wasn’t until I went to his office to pay a bill that the emotional ice started to thaw. His workers had done some electrical work at my house and I wanted to pay my bill.
When I approached him, he stared at me like he had seen a ghost. He seemed genuinely shocked to see me. When I asked him to give me my bill, he stalled. He later said I didn’t owe him anything. But, I insisted on paying, after all, he had staff to pay.
He said, “Rogan, as long as I have breath in my body and my eyes are open, there’s nothing I won’t do for you.” I got so emotional that tears welled up in my eyes, and I don’t like crying in front of anyone, especially my parents.
Honestly, in that very moment the anger melted away and we hugged. For a long time. It was my father’s way of saying, ‘I’m sorry.’ We’ve been good ever since.
Our relationship is nowhere as close as my relationship with my mummy, but I admit, it was good to have him back in my life. I’m sure he felt the same way.
8. I ended my marriage
Have you ever been to a party and the music dies, the band is packing up to leave, the cleaning crew has come in, the partygoers are driving off and you’re the last one standing on the dance floor?
That’s pretty much how it feels when you’re in a marriage that you know is over. All the signs are there, but you won’t leave.
I will always have a lot of love for my ex-husband. We went through a lot. Good, bad, ugly, very ugly, and beautiful.
But, I knew it was time to bury the union.
I remember listening to a Sade song years ago called King of Sorrow, if you’ve never heard it, please click that link and take a listen.
The entire song affects me in unimaginable ways. There are a few lines in particular that really resonate with me: I suppose I could just walk away, will I disappoint my future if I stay?
Those lines have always stood out to me. I remember questioning that very thing . . . the possibility of disappointing my future if I stayed in a marriage that I knew was over. I wondered if he would be doing the same.
I’m always cautious about what I talk about or print regarding my former marriage because I still have love for my ex, he will always be family to me and he’s not a bad person. We just had to go our separate ways.
I have always wanted a happy, healthy marriage. Sadly, I didn’t have that, so it was time to move on. Today, I have no regrets. I go home and it’s peaceful. There is love in my home.
Ending my marriage was one of the main ways in which I completely changed my life.
Let me know down below some of the things you’ve done over the past year, five years or more that have helped to transform your life. Thanks for reading!
This Bahamian Gyal