|Me at Marikopa Beach in New Zealand|
In New Zealand, Mike and I made a deal that we were definitely headed back to New York where I would return to my beloved job in a community I truly adore and Mike would be headed into a new venture which he was starting to get excited about. And then it all changed. It's true what they say about making plans. We had a plan, a good plan. It was the first solid, inflexible plan we had made in months. But after a week in Los Angeles, with nothing but the wide open future ahead of us, our minds did the darnedest thing- they changed.
For me, being in a small pub with most of my family for my brother's engagement party was a very powerful and obviously influential experience. It's been so long since I've been around all of them together and I was struck by how much I missed them and also how much I missed being a part of them. And while family is family, blood is blood, and I am always a part, it was nice to laugh and joke with people that have known me my whole life. I felt like a cliché. I felt like Santiago in The Alchemist. And I also felt complete terror. There has never been an opening for moving back to the West Coast and suddenly here it was - vulnerability, unwanted.
I boarded a plane for New York with great anticipation and anxiety. I was scared of my feelings. What if my mind changed again? What if I disappointed people on the east coast? What if I started down a path and wanted to jump the tracks again? I was afraid to commit to saying we were moving to Los Angeles and I still am because it feels so permanent. And my experience for the past nine months has been one of just the opposite of that - impermanency - and boy, did I love it!
But the more I let go, the more I find it easier to release my decisions from the death sentence I place on them. A wise friend once told me that the only thing permanent in life was children. I have stopped looking at this transition as "leaving New York" and more like "Los Angeles is where things are headed right now." Because, I always reserve the right to change my mind. And with the husband I have, I know my impulses will always be honored. (They may not be acted on, but they will be honored.) So, I've let go of what was set up before me. I've let go of the sure bet - the job, the health insurance plan, the 403B. I've let go of the panic that I am putting off "starting a family" and instead replaced that with gratitude that I still am at a place in my life where I can hop the tracks. And the more I let go, the more I sink into the unknown, the more opportunities are coming my way. The more I allow myself to be vulnerable, the better I get at being still and letting it all in.
Just before traveling to New York, another wise friend said to me, "You know it's kind of like the kid whose trying to swim. Panicked. Grasping at the water! When all they need to do is stand up."