Years ago, I was flying back from a work assignment in Sydney, Australia, and I sat next to a woman on the plane who had just moved her whole family (husband and three kids) from Atlanta, Georgia, to Sydney, Australia. I asked her why – if it was for a job, if she had family there? – and she said no, it wasn’t anything. They just had a feeling there was something more for them out there.
I think I was 24 at the time. And I looked at this woman with half “are you insane?” and half “I want to be like you when I grow up.” Not necessarily the pick up and move a 14-hour plane ride away part, but the free spirited part about trusting your instincts and just going for it.
I’ve been thinking about this woman a lot lately. Just last week Ross and I made a move like this ourselves. No 14 hour cross-continental flight or anything, but three hours down I-35 classifies as a big move in my book. We moved from Dallas to Austin, Texas, which just so happens to be where we met (and fell in love) and where we dreamed we might land back one of these days. One of these days. But change came a knocking when we least expected it (as it likes to do!).
I know I said one of these days, but in all honesty, I thought we’d be in Dallas forever. We have family close by, great friends; we just (just!) finished remodeling the house we bought a short 18 months ago and it was feeling like home. We were happy in our jobs. Nothing to complain about. But as I’m sure you’ve experienced for yourself, it seems just when things are getting a little too comfortable, life throws you a curve ball.
And when it does we can either: A. curl up in the fetal position until it goes away, or B. grab onto it and go along for the ride. I eventually hopped on option B, but it took some time. When we made up our minds we were gonna do this thing though, we fully committed. And something amazing happened – things just started falling into place.
We found a house to rent in a perfect location, we sold our home in a matter of days (through bittersweet tears). Things were coming to us easily. Our family and friends were supportive and truly excited for us and this new little adventure of ours. It felt right.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all sunshine and sold signs. There were many uncertain moments. And for a planner, those don’t really sit well. I realize this whole experience has been an exercise in learning to be comfortable in the chaos. Letting go and trusting there’s more out there; that it’s all going to work out.
I wonder about the woman I met all those years ago on that overnight flight and I trust that because she fully committed and opened herself up to change, things just fell into place for her too.
They say that the unknown is where the magic happens – where new ideas, opportunities and paths are born. So if you can train yourself to chill out there, and just hang for a while, you can be transformed – like the caterpillar into a butterfly. So, here I am giving it a shot and seeing what might be born out of this change.
Here’s to chillin in the unknown. And big beautiful butterflies.