There is something about moving four times in one year that really makes you want to get rid of everything you own and start from scratch.
Itâ€™s a really cool feeling when something that for so long was a romantic ideal, becomes the thing you are trying to do.
When I decided it was possible to leave my regular job and pursue a life as a creator, it suddenly became freeing to know that I was going to be giving myself a chance to use all of my skills. Many of these skills are even things that I developed as a teacher, but found that expansion of them would result in the discovery of new talents.
As a teacher, I was dedicated to helping teenagers learn better and think better and read better and socialize better. You have to think about it all of the time to be really good at it, and it takes over your life if you have an obsessive brain like mine. Finally, I decided that I needed to be obsessed with something I have a sort of control over.
The decision to leave my job came gradually. Even though the final move towards quitting came about due to other circumstances in my life, the plan had been there for awhile. Anyway, there is no way to get around a feeling of captivity in oneâ€™s own life – so what can you do? You get up and open another door.
There comes a point when it doesnâ€™t matter how fuzzy it looks off in the distance, or how crazy other people will think you are. Nothing else matters except making the decision and moving forward. So thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m doing.
When you really start to look at yourself, it can be difficult to admit that youâ€™ve done some things differently than you once thought you might. Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s important to let go of expectations and embrace the challenge that comes with now knowing what youâ€™re doing.
In mid-October 2017, I posted a Facebook shout-out in a few podcasting groups, looking for any leads on some training or work in the podcasting community, and by the time I was on my way home from work that day I was on the phone with Harry Duran. I remember calling my boyfriend later that afternoon, and saying, â€œUmmâ€¦ I think I just got a job.â€ Just as shocked as I was, he answered, â€œWhat? Are you serious? How?â€ I wasnâ€™t really sure how – I had no qualifications except being enthusiastic about stuff, which I guess counts for something in a world where most people go on living each day without ever thinking about what makes them excited. But it felt fortuitous from the start, and the mysterious impetus of my possible new path is what sealed it in my mind as part of a much larger journey that was about to begin.
â€œI live a charmed life,â€ proclaims Macbeth in Act V of Shakespeareâ€™s tragedy, reflecting on his assumed protection from all entities that could bring him harm. Iâ€™ve repeated this line to myself so many times over the last year, solidifying it in my brain as an ideology that is not really about safety, but about freedom. I grew up being taught that I was exceptional, and I have spent my entire adult life believing that. Living a â€œcharmed lifeâ€ has been a choice for me, rather than something bestowed upon me by an unknown force. Itâ€™s like anything else you are taught to believe when you are little: you see yourself through a filter that is forged by those who make up your life. And as you grow older, you decide for yourself if that filter is the lens through which the world should see you. Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™ll talk more about this at some point, but the way in which you see yourself is so indicative of the way the world responds to your existence.
Harry is constantly saying â€œThanks for trusting in me,â€ which resonates with someone like myself who is always thinking about how communication has the ability to work magic. There is an insight to those words that makes most relationships possible, and it takes experience and movement throughout life to really understand the value of it. I like to believe that Harry knows that I am someone who gets what all of this means, and therefore he can say that to me without hesitation. Because, really, trust is the basic element that allows us to even attempt what we do: we have to believe that each piece of the puzzle has not just a reason, but a plan of its own, winding a foundation before us that can seem bizarre and unlevel, and is often not even there before we are standing right in front if it. But it is there. If you turn around, you will never find it. So you have to decide that turning around isnâ€™t an option, and when you do…paths begin appearing before you, seeming to whisper, â€œThanks for trusting in me!â€
The other day I bought a bracelet with the word JOURNEY embroidered on one side, because I wanted to wear something that can be a daily reminder that to really lived a charmed life, one must know its possibilities and find value in its constant evolution. You have to trust that you are going to find the best possible life for you at any given moment, and I mean truly, almost blindly believing it at some points. The kind of behavior exhibited by someone who believes in what they are doing is often seen as irrational by those on the outside, simply because in order to really do it you have to believe in a lot of things coming together all at once, and in your own ability to navigate The Unplanned Life. You have to be able to look ahead, see nothing but clouds and sky, and go forward anyway.
In this first blog series, I will be delving into the parts of my journey that have led me to this moment, sitting at my desk, with my two dogs napping behind me, in the home studio that my boyfriend and I are putting together, in an apartment in southern Los Angeles that Iâ€™ve lived in for two and half weeks. A month ago I was a high school English teacher living in the eastern half of Long Island. Next month Iâ€™ll be 36. Not sure at all what that looks like! And for me, Iâ€™m a whole lot less terrified of that than knowing exactly what it looks like forever.
My hope is that you will want to engage with me as I write about what Iâ€™ve done and what Iâ€™m doing, and that youâ€™ll want to perhaps start reflecting on your own steps. It doesnâ€™t have to be huge to be monumental, but to take the leap you have to feel somewhat infinite.
What was your first step?