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Just Kill Yourself

Just Kill Yourself

I’m sitting in the back yard of a multi-level single family home in New Hope, PA. The epitome of what you would think if you heard the word “suburbs.” The back patio looks out to a sea of green. Grass, flowers, shrubs, wetlands, trees.

It’s so beautiful here.

I woke up this morning and slept walked straight out to the backyard where I let my feet sink into the grass for the first waking moments of the day. The wind whipped through my soul in the little valley of green created by homes on one side and the trees on the next.

In the past I would say, “I could never live in the suburbs. It’s so boring there.”

But here I sit on the back patio soaking in the peace and quiet of being miles away from any major metropolitan area and in this moment all I can think is, “Hmm, I really like this.”

Let go. Let go. Let go. Let go.

That little voice in your head that tells you that you can’t do something. Every time you say, “Oh, that’s just not me.” Every time you step back into a self destructive pattern that is slowly ruining your life.

Get rid of it.

Just kill yourself.

I’ve been traveling the world for the past two and a half years. The last time that I had any furniture, an apartment, or my own mailing address was February 29, 2012.

This is my current speaking bio:

Mike Hrostoski, The Men’s Coach, helps high performing men master their relationships with their women and their work. And he’s on a mission to make the world a better place one man at a time.

After the sudden passing of his mother, Mike left a lucrative career in human resources and took a full year off to do things that filled him with joy. After spending 2012 doing hundreds of hours of pro-bono coaching and traveling 12,000 miles across the United States doing volunteer work on a summer volunteer road trip, he launched his coaching business and operates it from all over the world. He’s been a digital nomad since February 2012 and has spent the past two years traveling and working across three continents, over a dozen countries and dozens of cities.

In its current state, it’s 134 words, and 70 of them are about travel.

Do you know one thing that I have loved about traveling all over the world?

Telling other people about traveling all over the world.

It’s sexy.

It’s something that people instantly hook onto.

It’s something that I can quickly find common ground with someone on as I’ve probably been to their home state and I’ve probably been to a country that they’ve visited before.

But in three weeks from today, Liz and I are moving into a two bedroom condo together in Carlsbad, CA.

And I’ll have to drop the identity of a location independent, globetrotting, digital nomad.

Because if I clutch onto it tightly, I’ll only cause myself suffering. Or maybe I’d even blame Liz for “ruining my exciting life” or “making me settle down.”

And that would suck.

So I’m letting go of something amazing to step into something that’s a whole new flavor of amazing.

Just kill yourself.

I haven’t had a sip of alcohol since January 1.

Which is funny because I spent most of the past decade under the influence.

What started as a necessary lubricant to mask my social anxiety turned into a decade of bad choices, a couple arrests, and several destroyed relationships.

Just when I thought I was getting over the party scene, my brother joined me with a fake ID for another two years of debauchery. I have journals that could fill a Tucker Max novel.

Why did I drink so much when it obviously caused problems in my life?

I was attached to the identity of being “that super fun, over the top, epic partier guy.” And a lot of people liked hanging out with that guy. He was fucking crazy… in the very best way.

He was the kind of guy who would crawl up the side of a building like Jackie Chan or pull a stop sign out of the ground or dance in a way that defies the law of Asian.

He was really, really fun. He got love and validation for being “the best fucking guy to party with ever.”

But in the breaks between binges sometimes he would look at himself in the mirror and think, “I don’t know how much longer I can do this.”

I was on a bus to New York City two years ago with my friend Nathan Agin and he asked me, “What if you could be the fun, dancy, bright ball of energy WITHOUT alcohol?”

Whoa.

In that moment I felt my brain grow a little as I imagined for the first time another version of myself that felt even better to be in.

I remember thinking that it wasn’t possible.

Now I’m halfway there.

Every time I push myself a little in a social situation another layer of self-doubt or anxiety disappears forever.

And I get to slowly kill off another piece of me that doesn’t serve me anymore.

Just kill yourself.

I’ve have many conversations about suicide with friends and clients. I feel as comfortable talking about death as I do talking about breakfast.

And I can only speak to my own experiences, but the times when I thought about suicide were the times when I felt like there was no way out. I felt totally overwhelmed and unequipped to deal with the challenges staring me in the face.

Looking back at those times, what I really needed to do was kill myself.

Not my entire self. Not this living, breathing mindbody that is playing the greatest game of all time.

I needed to kill off or let go of the pieces of me that were holding me back from the next level.

You are the sum of many parts, many characters. Some of them serve you and some of them don’t.

So just kill yourself. A little.

And step back into life reborn.

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PS – Are you actually thinking about killing yourself? Don’t. Life is fucking awesome and you have a lot more adventuring left to do. If you need someone to talk to, just call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day. I Love You. Let’s make cool stuff together.

  • TiredofTheTirades

    Good, Mike. Good.

  • JB

    Excellent Mike. Definitely thought provoking (as usual). And I can also say that killing pieces of yourself is a great approach. Akin to killing off dead parts and regenerating fresh, better parts.

  • Dave Meader

    Mike, this is good! Even from the suburbs!!! :-) It resonates with Jungian imagery (our need to “kill off” our parents in order to find our own path) , and even Buddhist thought (Hanh’s composting idea). As a digital nomad myself this year, I’m noticing the irony of your killing off your nomad identity for a domiciled one. Most folks are considering the other direction. Thanks for the post!

  • Adam K

    In all honesty? I should kill off the part of myself that overeats potato chips. Nothing would do more to enhance how “healthy” I view myself.

  • Amy Scott

    I’d call New Hope the best kind of “suburbs” around, but I get what you’re saying. :) Great post, Mike, and I can absolutely relate to the dangers of holding on too tightly to those pieces of our identity that don’t serve us anymore, whether it’s “digital nomad” or something entirely different. Even the things that once were a huge step out of our comfort zone can get too comfortable. And, we can also miss out on some incredible experiences if we are too attached to those fixed ideas of who we are right now (or used to be) that make us say “that’s just not me.” Excited for you and Liz as you embark on this new adventure!

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