I love walking through fire.
My entire life has been about pushing myself toward the heat. I’m not one to cautiously put my hand out and gauge the temperature, instead, I’m the one who throws my shoes in the corner believing that I can walk on burning coals.
There have been a thousand times that I’ve made it part way across a bed of burning embers only to look down and realize I am walking on a surface that is literally hot enough to leave blisters. But at that point, I know I’ve gone too far to turn back and that my only choice is to stand still or keep moving.
I always keep moving.
In the past year, I’ve walked many barefooted miles on a surface as hot as July asphalt, and I’ve wondered just how hot it has to get before I’ll stop and grab my shoes.
In October, I left my teaching position to take a full-time job with a luxury retail department store. Many people thought I was crazy to leave teaching, but I knew, at the time, it was the right choice for me, and although I miss my students every day, I am not sorry I made the change.
In February, I applied for a sales job in Chicago and spent most of March driving back and forth for interviews. At the beginning of April, I was offered the job, accepted it, sold my furniture, shed a good deal of my past, boxed what was left and moved – in two weeks.
For the past four months, I’ve been living with J. in her beautiful Chicago digs while I’ve worked on getting settled in this amazing city. I’ve found an apartment and will be moving in on August 15. I sold my car and now enjoy all of the benefits (and challenges) of relying on the CTA, and I love it. I’ve interviewed for a promotion, realized it wasn’t the right position for me at the time, and was relieved that it went to someone else (and thrilled about the person who was offered the position – truly the best candidate!). I’ve been on a few dates, and made some new friends.
In other words, in one year, I’ve managed to change my entire life – again.
I realize I’m incredibly fortunate in the sense that I’m at a point in my life when, as a single woman with no dependents, I am completely and totally free to make choices about my life, my career and my living arrangements – income notwithstanding. It’s not that my life is all sunshine and lollipops, there are plenty of challenges and frustrations, but I’ve come to realize that most of those are my own choice and that if I really don’t like what’s going on, I am free to make different choices.
Scary, but true.
For example, I made a conscious choice to rent a studio apartment rather than pay more for a one-bedroom. My reasoning was not only that it would keep costs to a minimum, but also that I don’t actually want to acquire and maintain the furniture needed to fill a one bedroom apartment. It feels odd to say that since I’ve lived my entire adult life in apartments that had “appropriate” furnishings, but once I’d asked what I actually want, I realized that I’d be happy with a convertible couch in a small space.
I’d rather spend the money on experiences rather than things – this time around.
In the coming months, I’m going to be setting foot on the coals again as I explore employment options. I know there is something out there that is a better fit than what I’m doing right now, but I know that in order to find it I have to exercise patience and persistence, and I have to be willing to take the chance that I might get burned in the process.
But I’ve found that anything worth having is worth the risk.
I haven’t given up on living in New York City. Oh no. In fact, this move to Chicago has made me even more determined to find a way to get to NYC.
But I’ve got some business to take care of, and a plan of action that I need to create.
Through patience and persistence
And with calloused feet.
I will arrive – eventually.