Last week was one for the record books. After months of seemingly stagnant nowhereness, I suddenly felt motion in several directions at once. Of course, not all in the same direction. That would be too easy, and that’s not how life changes. Not at all. I was so lost in the sudden onrush of it all, I couldn’t write here, though I kept opening up my computer, full of intent.
My me, my self, my being.
There were big shifts in all of the above. My son got into a private school that knows how to handle his ADHD. I should have felt relieved and certain. Instead, I felt a further heaviness land in my chest, ambiguous and unclear. I had lunch with a friend to talk about my plans for making career transition; she shed serious doubt on my plans to be embraced by a new industry (the one she’s worked in for decades), reminding me that the field is flooded with talent because so many people are out of work. I received a bank statement, that showed me that my money is running out (more than) a bit faster than I thought. And then, a huge hideous, horrible event (that I feel terrible even placing in a list such as this, because I don’t want to diminish it): my boyfriend was held up, at gunpoint, right outside our home, in our safe, fancy, “best in New York City” neighborhood. Devastating. Unsettling. As in, moving me from feeling settled… Unseating me. Uprooting me. Reminding me that where I feel secure I am not necessarily secure.
Okay, universe. I’m listening.
It’s time to go.
New York City, I’ve loved you so. It’s been a fantastically rewarding, thrilling 21 years. But I’m done with you, and you, it seems are done with me.
And I’m ready. I’m terrified. Absolutely terrified. But I feel a calm, quiet certain in my middle, that tells me I’m heading toward the next me I’m supposed to be.
In my months of confusion about what I should do next (“do” meaning how I should earn a living), I wrote myself a mission statement to try to clarify for myself what mattered most to me. Instead of coming up with a job description, I found something bigger:
I want to take all my life and professional experiences, and use them to help other people manage life’s disappointments and heartbreak and turn them into wisdom.
And as I size up leaving New York City, leaving the corporate professional realm, leaving a city filled with insistent demands and clanging happenstance (which I loved for so long), leaving the land of eternal possibility, I see this: by narrowing my options and my choices, I will be able to focus on my mission. I will lead myself to a place in my heart where I accept that this is worthy work, and that it is what I was meant to do (which I’ve believed for many years, but have only uttered aloud to my dearest friends). It all seemed too pompous and overreaching to dare to say out loud. But I will say it aloud. I will trust my heart and my gut and my instincts. I will finally give over toward living life by my principles instead of my goals. I will walk ever more closer to the person I want to be. I will dare the naysayers. I will find my place. I will believe.
I felt instantly lighter, as if I’d been set free. But the truth is, I was always free. (We all are always that free.) I just wasn’t yet ready to step out of the cage of security I’d built so carefully with my own bare hands, even so long after the security I thought I’d created had stopped carrying me.
That security lasted its own due time, my certainty came to me in its own due time. The knowledge of the world unfolds in its own due time. We humans are the ones who look at the clocks and the calendars and wonder when the wisdom will come in, but lucky for us, the universe is eternally patient, living its seasons and waiting for us to open our eyes and see.