This article is from Issue 61: Jan/Feb 2013

13 Signs You Need to Get Unstuck

Is your life ready for a shove? Here's how to tell.

As people trail-blaze their way through the quarter-life jungle, there comes a point—or 10—when they might start to feel stuck.

Maybe you can relate. Mired in the city you have tried to flee. Shackled by the golden handcuffs of gainful employment that steals away your sanity. Messaging friends who aren’t really friendly. Worshipping alongside Christians who don’t seem all that interested in following Christ.

Your life might be ready for a shove. Here are a few signs your life may have wandered off course—and how you can get it moving in the right direction again.

1. You can’t remember the last time you used a phone for talking

Here’s a scary reality: Most of your good friends today will eventually move away—if you haven’t already moved away yourself. We live in a transient culture where jobs, relationships and fresh starts beckon us to other lands of opportunity.

The easy way to cope with your impending community break-up is to keep posting clever updates on Facebook, send the occasional text when you eat at your friends’ favorite dives and let the relationships drift.

To give your relationships a shove, talk to the people in your life. Plop down on some upholstery. Grab a favorite beverage. And ring them up. Drop the chit-chat (you don’t need it) and talk about what’s really going on. It’s not good enough to know that you could call someone and have a conversation whenever you want. You actually have to call. If time’s an issue, call when you’re driving or walking somewhere. Stop saying, “But they’re so far away.” Better yet, instead of waiting for them to come your way, plan your vacations around visiting old friends.

2. Everybody you know has the same grocery list

If your friends could swap out your fridge for theirs and you wouldn’t notice, it’s time to branch out. If you shop hippie-vegan, do you have white-bread-and-bologna friends? If you never worry about your checks bouncing, do you know someone who limits their grocery trips to the twenty-dollar bill they have in hand that week?

Meeting people who don’t look, talk, shop, think, act or pray like you takes guts and gumption. It’s even harder to actually build friendships with people who are different than you. But common ground can be found in strange places, if you’re willing to search for it.