Could you, would you, pack up everything and move to another country?
I never thought I would, but I did. I now live in Paris, France. I’ve been traveling to Paris for 20 years, but I never thought I would reside here. Why would I leave my perfect beach home in Southern California? I had dreams of moving to Paris, sure, but never imagined that such an adventure would become a reality. I was pushed to take the leap, and then the climb back up began. After being laid off from the company I had worked at for 19 years, I was on the hunt for my next career move. Nothing was happening the way I wanted. Life wasn’t falling back into place. It was time I sat back and really looked at what I wanted to do next, but why wasn’t the answer staring me in the face?
So, I wrote in my diary. I made “go/stay” lists and even learned how to meditate (okay, I think three minutes was my limit). I read soul-searching books, drank lots of wine, and worked out to burn off the wine. I listened to the wind while walking along the beach, feeling that sea air blow through me. I prayed that something or someone would please tell me what to do! Every type of soul-searching you can imagine, I did. As the days kept passing by and the bills piled up, I knew needed to decide, and fast. “Oh, wind, please speak to me!” It did.
Take my home, please!
So, Paris was calling me, but I was still conflicted. First, I decided to put my home up for rent to see if I had any takers. This would make the decision for me as to whether I should a) buy more sunscreen (beach home) or b) buy an umbrella (Paris home). After two weeks, an offer I couldn’t refuse came in, and that mighty wind made the decision for me. Paris became a reality and the adventure began–time to pack.
To be honest, I was appalled at how much stuff I had accumulated. Okay, I wouldn’t say I was at a “hoarder” level, but I would be a close runner-up. I consider myself a neat freak, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of crap “neatly” put away. In three weeks, I sold, discarded, and/or donated 15 years of my life from my beach home; there was no turning back now.
I don’t care what you think
Don’t rely on others to tell you what to do; the only thoughts that matters are yours. Of course, I cared what people thought, but the feedback I received was mostly, “are you crazy, your life is here!” Well, the wind was telling me otherwise.
Everyone’s situation is different. I never followed the “normal” path. “When are you getting married, settling down, having children, buying the white picket fence home?” I’ve been asked these questions my entire life, so I knew not to solicit others’ opinions. My path in life veered away from the norm at an early age, and I knew not to allow others’ negativity to influence my decision.
You have no choice, trigger pulled.
Okay, I had a place to live in Paris, and hopefully work would fall into place, but now what? Reality set in. I told myself it was okay to relax at first and acclimate to the new surroundings. Work would start flowing naturally. Well, I am two years in, my French is still horrible, and things are not perfect. But despite all these facts, I can honestly say that I am happy. I’ve stepped back and really looked at all I’ve done. I’ve reflected on the number of times I didn’t think I could push forward anymore, yet I did. I see a path ahead, and the wind is finally blowing me forward and no longer holding me back as I continue to Follow a New Path.
When will my life be on track again?
To give yourself up to the laws of nature is not easy. We are not wired to let go; our brains keep replaying the past. Taking that jump is not as easy as it sounds, especially when you don’t know if the water below is hot, cold, or just right. I am on that journey, and the first steps were hard–I mean hard. Well, I made it this far. I look back and ask myself how I did it. I don’t know how, but I did. So even though I am still on this cliff, I am proud of the distance I’ve climbed. I don’t know if I am going up or coming down this mountain, but I am not jumping off. I am going to hold tight and enjoy the journey. More importantly, I have faith in the wind, and I believe it is blowing me on the right path.