Those who know me well will tell you I’m practical to the extreme. I don’t get overly emotional about things. I don’t get attached to stuff, don’t fuss over small things, and generally reject things that put me or stress me out if I don’t view them as strictly necessary.
Cleaning is a good example of this. I don’t get too worked up about cleaning at home just because I’m “supposed” to. Any time we move, I prefer to throw everything out and start over than to hang on to baubles and trinkets we’ve accumulated over the years that don’t serve any practical purpose.
In college, my good friends teased me because my dorm rooms always had one characteristic in common: they were adorned by nothing else than the essential bed, dresser, desk and computer. The walls were bare. Decorating doesn’t really serve much of a practical purpose, so why bother?
I can be intensely passionate about things I consider important – like my son’s education and emotional development – but pretty nonchalant about things that, from my perspective, don’t really matter – like my son’s outfit, shoes or haircut.
That’s why people are surprised when I reveal my belief in things like prayer, fate, signs and the Universe. I don’t believe in overly planning for things, but rather, letting things unfold as they come – whether they’re unfolding the way you expected, or not. The Universe (aka, God, Higher Power, whatever you want to call it) will ALWAYS take care if you, you just have to trust very deeply that the fate you’re being handed will ultimately serve you better than whatever fate you had in mind.
I keep trying to remind myself lately of the many, many times this has been true in my life over the last few years. It’s very difficult for someone with anxiety to relinquish control and venture into the unknown, but as one of my favorite quotes clarifies – it’s not like I have much control over things to begin with.
My son is the highlight of my life, but his existence would like not have been possible without the devastating miscarriage I suffered a year and a half before he was born. I may not have planned things that way, but in retrospect I couldn’t imagine my existence any differently.
On the flip side, we made our way to Barcelona with only one year’s worth of funds in the bank, unsure of how we’d finance our way through the end. Many might have called it ill-advised, but just when things were starting to get desperate (we ate quesadillas for dinner every night and had to walk two miles to school because we didn’t have enough money for the bus), I began to get random checks in the mail. A tax refund I wasn’t expecting. The payout from a class action lawsuit I wasn’t even aware of. A signing bonus from my new employer four months before my start date.
Somehow these things just materialized, allowing us to finish our studies and move on to the next chapter in our lives (oh, and our parents helped a little, too).
Now, I’m not advocating complacency by any means. There’s a fine balance between inertia and strategic inaction. I’ve found that you have to take a step, no matter how small, and once you do the Universe will send you something back. It’s up to you what you do with it – take another step, or take a step back – but take a step into the abyss, and trust the Universe will have your back.
This blog is just that – my first step into the unknown. An attempt to change those areas of my life that feel stuck, or incomplete. Who knows? Maybe it will shake something loose. I can’t wait to see what it is!