Empire State of Mind

15 Mar

Photo by DMT

I’ve taken the first step!

This morning, I made travel reservations for my second trip to New York City.  I’ve been considering the possibility since I heard about Jeff Pulver’s 140# Conference that will be held at the 92nd Street YMCA in June, but I was scared to make the commitment to attend.

I’ve been nervous about the amount of time, effort and money it would take to travel to NYC for the conference, and my life has been hectic, so I kept putting off making a decision.

What I haven’t wanted to admit is that I’m scared of taking another step toward making my dreams come true.  It’s one thing to blog about wanting to live in a city I’ve visited only once, and it’s quite another thing to actually travel there.

This trip will change things, and I know that.  I’ll no longer be able to idealize the city from afar.  I’ll be moving toward my goal with new knowledge and experience.  I’ll have to step off of neutral [and relatively safe] ground, and start actually moving.

I think that while I’ve become comfortable talking about my dreams, I’ve grown too comfortable just talking.  The problem with taking action is that it disrupts what’s comfortable and familiar, and changes everything – for better or for worse.  Taking action leads to the unknown.

For months, while I’ve been contemplating attending this conference, my good friend, D. has watched as I’ve run up to the cliff countless times, looked over the edge, and then backed up to where I feel safe again.  The great thing about D. is that he doesn’t criticize or judge.  He knows I’ll get there in my own time – or not – but he also knows when to cut through the fear and give solid advice that will help me make a decision for myself.

The other day, I wrote him a long analysis about how I viewed this trip in terms of cost and time.  My main fear was that I shouldn’t spend the money because I should be building a bigger savings account.  I should be sensible.  I should play it safe, not take a risk.

D. wrote the simple response, “Mary, make the trip.  In ten years you’ll remember your trip to New York, but you’ll have no recollection of the couple hundred dollars you spent.”

And he’s right.

My plans aren’t foolish.  I’ve done the research, examined all of the angles, and evaluated many possible choices – the logistics and costs – and I know that this trip won’t entail over-extending myself in order to “live large in the big city.” If it did, that would be the sign of an unwise choice. I have no guarantee that this trip will result in anything other than a visit to New York City.  However, it could provide me with an experience that would help my personal and professional growth. I just have to be willing to set aside my fears and take the chance.

How will everything work out?  I have no idea – yet.

I have to trust that everything I do is for a reason – even when I don’t know what the ultimate outcome will be – and that, in the end, it all works out the way it’s supposed to work out.  I have to trust my instincts.  I have to trust myself.  Only then can I take a leap of faith and just go.

So, this morning I ran up to the cliff, hesitated for a moment, and then booked a ticket.

I don’t know where this will lead, and that’s okay because it’s not the destination that brings us joy, it’s the journey.


One Year to Move Soundtrack


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