You know that saying, "Jump and the net will appear." Well, I did, but there was no net, and I hit the freakin pavement. This is a little bit about my story and why I'm glad I took that leap of faith anyways, and why you should too.
Walking down the cobblestone streets in the West Village, I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. Little did I know, that conversation with my mother would change the course of my life. Essentially, someone had just knocked on her door with a great offer on her house that she had been wanting to sell, but wasn't doing anything about it. The catch was, they wanted it in a few months, and she didn't know how she could possibly get rid of everything in that house, and try to find another place to live in that time. The words that came out of my mouth still baffle me.
"Why don't you take my apartment and I go to California and figure it out?" I pulled the phone a few inches away from my face and starred at it with furrowed brows as if to say "Wtf??". I had no intentions on going anywhere, as I liked living in NYC, but the moment I said that to my mother, there was a gut intuitive "Yes!" in the pit of my stomach, as I felt the hair on my arms stand up, and the chills rush through my body from head to toe. I knew I had to take a crazy leap of faith, because to say no to that intuitive guidance would have meant saying "What if..." for the rest of my life.
A few months later, I'm standing at baggage claim in the LAX airport with just a ticket and a suitcase. No job, no place to live, just a bunch of clothes with no place to put them. I felt my soul was guiding me down this path, so surly the net would appear and I'd know where I was meant to go, right? Wrong. Utterly wrong. My biggest fear quickly went from "Where am I going to go to the Gym?" to "Where am I sleeping tomorrow night!?"
Next thing I know, I'm sitting on a bench overlooking the ocean, but unable to appreciate its beauty. Tears rolling down my cheeks, with no home, a nearly totaled car, and resurfaced addictive thoughts and behaviors. I questioned what I had gotten myself into, and how much longer I had left to live if I kept this up. This leap of faith seemed to be turning into a leap of failure.
I felt a pain in my chest so deep and full of sorrow that it couldn't be ignored. Sitting on the bench, I lifted my gaze and starred out at the magnificent cliffs of Big Sur, and the glistening water of the pacific ocean. With an aching heart, I thought to myself "My heart needs this." I brought my awareness to the pain and acknowledged its presents without judgement. "Hello pain." I thought to myself "I need to feel this contrast and pain to evolve and move forward, but I've felt you long enough, and you can go now."
The pain instantly vanished. I had caught my brain feeding me these lies that life was awful. It was as if my awareness made my ego flee in disappointment and embarrassment of it's discovery.
After that, I stopped my addictive behaviors with my newfound determination. I'm sure the fact that I thought I would be dead soon otherwise contributed to the change as well. Wasn't really the way I wanted to go out. I knew I came out to California to find more of what my heart needs to evolve and become a better version of myself, not to have my heart stop entirely.
Becoming a better version of myself is exactly what I got, not only from being out here, but having experienced that contrast as well. Just like a bow and arrow, sometimes you have to be pulled back in order to hit the bullseye.
Some of the valuable lessons I have learned as a result of taking this leap of faith? The few times I have relapsed are the two times in which I felt I had the least control of my life and future. What that really is, is my mind feeding myself lies that life is not good and things may not work out, cutting myself off from being connected to my true self, and knowing life is happening for me, not to me. I feel a deeper understanding and appreciation for the contrast and struggles in my life, and treasure the good times with more awareness and presence. The list of lessons, or what I like to call gifts, from that experience goes on and on. Though I jumped and hit the pavement, I have recovered and am stronger than ever. Don't be afraid to take a leap of faith, and more importantly, don't be afraid to fall.