Here is what I have learned in the last two days about making a stupid ass, out loud statement of grandiose grandiosity and then having to actually execute on that plan……
When I said “buckle up” awhile back, I didn’t realize I would need shoulder straps too.
Here’s the thing about life changing decisions: (imho)
They don’t happen very often. (Or often enough perhaps). I totally get it. I totally get why people look at me like I am out of my mind, and their mouths hang a little open and they squint. Those people are probably thinking ahead. To the practicality of it all. To the things that will need to be done. To the casualties, and the details and the pros and cons. It is absolutely enough to stop you dead in your tracks and paralyze you. I get it.
How can you possibly choose between the not-so-bad status quo, and the vast unseen hint of a promise of maybe something in a different place and time. How do you do that? Why would you do that? Why would you give up a beautiful home, a lovely neighbourhood, nice friends, a stable job, and exciting new business, a gym you love, a dog who owns you, a finely crafted German automobile and civilized abundance. I mean – Cineplex VIP for the love of God. How can you give all that up for something that is blurry and misty and doesn’t actually even exist for you right now? In a place that is really really hot when you hate temperatures over 26 degrees?
Oddly enough I have done this before. And oddly enough I have a very familiar set of feelings about this whole life leap.
The first time I did this, I was living in Canmore. I had a beautiful townhouse, an awesome black lab, a fairly new SUV, a stable job with good potential, lovely friends and neighbours. A perfect one karat diamond, a marriage proposal offered in a helicopter over the Banff Springs Hotel and a fiance who adored me.
Without getting into the boring details (trust me), I made the decision to call it off and cancel the wedding after the invitations had gone out. To stop it. To avoid the future heart break I could see coming like a freight train.
I did not think about the details. I did not think about the messy, blurry, unseen future that did not even exist for me at the time. I did not look over the edge of the abyss. I didn’t even glance in that direction. I made a decision because a decision HAD to be made. It had to be made because I knew in my heart that the path was unsustainable. It held nothing good. I had no concrete evidence. It was a gut feeling that hung over me like a hunters net.
A decision had to be made and I made it. And then……….the aftermath.
I hated being single. I hated living alone. I hated it. I was unmoored and I swore that if I had known that I would be so single, for so long that I never would have repeated that decision. BUT, I was also deliriously happy. I still sigh a genuine sigh of relief when I think about it. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Now I’m doing it again. I am giving up a lot of things that have served me well for many years. I have some really beautiful things in my life right now. But I can point at each one of those things. I can hold it in my hands and say – look at this. And this and this and this. I have these things and they are lovely. But the predictability is killing me. I feel an unbearable need to go out and experience things that I can’t point at or hold in my hands. To go out and gather things together and make something new. The whole process of making new friends and building new and important relationships… that alone is enticing beyond description.
The whole time I was in Morocco, I was thinking about this decision. I was open to it. I listened. I talked to a lot of people. I gathered a lot of information. I was IN that place and I made my impressions OF that place, IN that place. I did not look over the edge of the abyss. I didn’t even glance in that direction. I was IN Morocco deciding whether I could/would/should MOVE to Morocco. I tried it on and turned it around in my hand and I held on to it for awhile. And it felt really really good. It felt right. Its not that all the things I have in Toronto are wrong. They just aren’t right. Morocco felt right. And because I was there, in that moment, I was able to make clear, clean impressions that weren’t sullied by details, or other emotions. That part is key. That part of being able to make decisions for the RIGHT reasons – that was gold. And I will tell you why later.
Had I looked forward in finer detail than I did, I would not have done it. If I had kept quiet and kept my thoughts to myself, or not made the big decsion but just “leaned into it”, I wouldn’t be doing it. I would have talked myself out of it. I would have thought it too expensive to leave Daisy, or take her. Its too much work to sell my house, and my stuff. Its not nearly enough time. I don’t speak French. I’m a single woman moving to a Muslim coountry. MY HAIR? I don’t have the time, I need to be building a business. I can’t do it now because, because because. All useless details.
So I just listened to my heart, and when it started to sing, I start to pay attention. I stayed with it unti l heard the final answer —- JUMP. And I did.
Into the abyss.