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How to escape the rat race: 5 tips to live an unconventional life and think outside the box

Updated: May 22

Do you ever realize how hard the world and people try to get you to fit into a box?

The conventional adult lifestyle involves going through 12 years of grueling school, going to college and accruing debt to get a degree, getting a 9-5 job that you work for 40+ hours a week, and spending your off days and weekends trying to catch up on your overflowing laundry pile.

There are benefits to living a conventional life—for example, comfort and stability. And knowing where your next paycheck is coming from. But over time, you might find that as you work the conventional lifestyle, you will hate adulting and become depressed, anxious, and irritable.

Until the age of 20 years old, I lived a conventional life. For most of my life, I knew I wanted to be a doctor, specifically a psychiatrist. It was something I had visualized while I was in diapers, and it traveled with me throughout high school. When it was time to graduate high school, I wanted to take a gap year. Even though my high school friends were taking the conventional route of going to college, I was craving a more unconventional lifestyle. But I felt pressure from my parents and everyone around me to fit into the box. So, I went to college.

While in college, I quickly discovered that the conventional path was not for me. But I pushed through my courses and eventually graduated. After college, I knew it was time for me to step out. So I started to write Since When did Single mean Sad.

That was the beginning of my journey of living life outside of the box. If you read the book, you will be overwhelmed and amazed by the unconventional season that I had when God told me to stop dating and talking to men completely.

But even though I was living outside of the box, I knew I still needed a way to pay my bills and so I decided to pursue an even more unconventional career in phlebotomy. Today I am the author of a premiere novel with over 100 sales, a successful christian blogger, an Esty seller, and an Instagram connoisseur.

Here are 10 tips I used to escape the rat race and own my unconventional lifestyle.

1. Differentiate between what you want to do and what others tell you

Sometimes, it can be easy to fall into a pattern of people-pleasing. We go through life, and the people who support us, like our family and friends, can recommend that we do certain things. I will never forget this one time when I was trying to decide whether or not I wanted to be a doctor or a physician's assistant. Of all the people I told, 97 percent told me I should take the more conventional route and become a doctor. Even though physician's assistants took less schooling, they were the world's number one career, and deep down in my soul, I knew I did not want to be a doctor.

Family and friends are great, but a lot of what advice they give are


These projections can be dangerous, especially if you are unsure of what you want to do.

Some things to make this easier include writing down precisely what you want to do, making a pro and cons list, and asking yourself which decision you would make if you did not have anyone telling you what to do or giving you advice.

2. Quit

If you are reading this blog post and you want to live an unconventional life, there are probably things that you are doing that you know aren't for you. Consider why you are putting yourself in a situation.

There was a time when I was working an especially tiresome job, and I was doing it to please my parents and save money. But the day that I finally quit was when I could inhale for the first time in almost a year.

If you are

- asking yourself why you are doing something

- feeling depressed or anxious all the time

- looking for approval in everything that you do

It may be time to consider if you are doing something for you or because it is comfortable.

Number 3: Forge your own path

When I was in high school, we studied the poem by Robert frost called The Road Less Traveled. It was about a man trekking through a forest and coming to a place where the path diverges in two different directions. One path, the more unconventional path, is laden with footprints and tracks, and it is evident that it is the path that most people have taken. In contrast, the other path is less traveled. The singer spends the whole song going back and forth between the two paths and ultimately chooses to go down the more unconventional road

The Bible discusses this. In Matthew 7:13, it says, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate, and broad is the road that leads to destruction." Many Christians get messed up because they try to live an unconventional life outside of the box that pleases God while also trying to fit in with the world. The behavior of doing so can cause them to go astray and end up on the broad path that leads to destruction. I have witnessed many of my friends who started as Christians go astray and fall down the wide path. And each one of them did it through small everyday decisions.

The thing that differentiates "Since when did single mean sad" and the Positively Gabrielle brand from every other business is that it takes a common topic, "relationships and love," and looks at it through the lens of a Christian perspective.

Though many have tried to do this, it was hard to find my audience initially because people were not used to seeing singleness from a Christian perspective. But I found that those who ended up reading my book and buying my merch ( buy your merch here) were so much more dedicated to the cause.

4.Don't go it alone; find mentors and friends who are on the same path

In Since When did Single Mean Sad, I talked about how the devil loves to target Christians who are alone ( 1 Peter 5:8).

Even though living an unconventional life can be lonely, it does not have to be. YouTubers have their YouTube audiences, and I have my Frequent Flyers and loyal Instagram followers; I also have my friends from years prior. If you want to maintain your unconventional life, you must take the time to find people to support your journey.

One of my most essential chapters in Since When did Single Mean Sad was the chapter about finding mentors. In that chapter, I got vulnerable about how I found my mentors and found someone who would sharpen me and help accomplish your dreams.

Having a group of people to be there when you slip and fall can be the difference between staying in the more unconventional lifestyle, staying out of the rat race, and falling into old patterns of darkness and pain.

5. Take risks

Imagine you are standing at the end of a black jet hallway, and you know that you must go through the hallway and get to the other side to accomplish your goals.

To live an unconventional lifestyle, you have to take a risk. And sometimes, the consequences can be enormous. For example, losing your home or car, getting shunned by your parents and family, or even a period of embarrassment.

But the best part about living an unconventional lifestyle is that although the first few steps are always the most difficult, as you walk through that hallway, God provides light and a blueprint to keep you going.

When I dropped out of school and told my parents that I no longer wanted to become a physician, I am pretty sure I almost pooped my pants: multiple times. But I can proudly say that every step I took to stray from the unconventional path paid off in one way or another.

6.Refuse to be put into the box by others

When living an unconventional lifestyle, you might realize that people will try to put you in a box.

When this occurs, you must understand that our brain often works to categorize people and things into specific categories.

For example, you might be working in a job and want to be versatile to learn about all these different parts of your job. You might start to see that as you want to live unconventional lifestyles in these situations, you may face a little pushback from the people around you. But the best way to deal with this is to set firm boundaries. For example, if you feel pressured to wear your hair in a certain way and instead like to switch hairstyles, don't be afraid to talk with people about your actions. As you begin to enforce your boundaries, you will realize that people will begin to respect you for your unconventionality. When I began to live outside the box, I met these wonderful and unique people who also wanted to live outside the box. You can do it!

Bonus Tip

Don't be afraid to be single:

My brand's whole purpose and vision are to help single people be happier while unmarried through biblical techniques and tactics. That being said, I know little about how to be happy while single. One of the number one things you have to be brave while single and get things done is to stop being afraid of being alone. Living outside of the box and escaping the rat race requires a lot of inner digging and work, and sometimes trying to find a partner can be a distraction.

Like this post? Check out this one

How to be happy alone: Solo date ideas

Your Penpal friend,

positively Gabrielle

I want to take this relationship to the skies! Become a frequent flyer to get emails straight to your inbox so you never miss another post.

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