“all I wanted to do was sneak out into the night and disappear somewhere, and go and find out what everybody was doing all over the country.”
The fact that everybody I told my news to passed on congratulations might say something about the way life was leading me in 2017. I still remember my nutritionist telling me, “What would it take for you to quit [your job]? External affirmation? Because I’d be proud of you if you quit.” The fact that the conversation happened months ago says how lingering the desire was. How the roots were slowly growing, digging down into soil and begging to be nourished.
For months, little dreams and wishes had been building up on my manifestation list. Places I wanted to go to again, things I wanted to do. And right on the top: 'Manifest the time in my life to do a 200-hour YTT intensive'. All things I couldn't do while employed full time.
In less than a month, I will board a plane and fly to Melbourne - a quick stop on the way to the rest of the world - and not see Perth again for nine weeks. The idea of this much freedom terrifies me - terrified me enough for me to realise that it was exactly the thing I should be doing. I am starting to think life is about doing the things we’re terrified of doing. Of acknowledging the fear and doing it anyway.
I have not made a scary decision in a while. But the fact that a fear was brewing meant that I had to listen. I was - am - scared of failing at being happy. Something Jacob says often is, “I do it because I can.” Not because he deserves it, or saved up for it, or scrimped or gave up something to get something else. If he can, he does it. Buys the thing, books the flight, goes for a walk… While I agonise over every decision, he is much better than I at not stopping to find ways to make the ‘no’ a better, safer and more logical choice.
A year and a half ago I was faced with a 20k cut in salary to take on a portfolio that excited me. Back then, my biggest fear was giving up the constant pay rises in my working life that had become the norm.My first pay rise came months into my first job. Then another. Then a promotion. Then another raise. Two years later, I left to another job where I’d successfully negotiated another pay increase. The hard fought increase in income was something I took immense pride in. It was not the money, but the fact that I’d managed to get it and hoard it. My bank account was steadily increasing, and I was terrified of losing it. I eyed up boring jobs paying more money, trying to figure out my next move. Trying to find a way to feed the fact that my self esteem was tied to my pay check. And it was precisely this reason that I had to let all go. “You can always go back,” Jacob pointed out. “But you can’t always choose this.” I needed to let go of my perceived notion of control. So I did.
Before that, my scariest decision was to leave Perth and follow a love down to the country with no job, no visa and no plan except to try to convince the Australian government that two people who’d never spent more than a week living in the same city were a true, genuine couple. Everyone told me it was a dead end, that I’d be shipped back home to find a job there. Terrified. But I did it. And found a job just over a month later - one that ultimately paid for me to stay in the country for good.
All my life triumphs have come from doing the exact thing that scared me the most. Moving to another continent on my own at sixteen. Staying alive at nineteen when all I wanted was to get to heaven already. I only remember the scary things I’ve done. The crazy things I’ve done. Because those are the times when the universe has caught me, and dropped me off somewhere I couldn’t get to on my own.
And so this is me doing it again. The bigger the question mark, the more surprising the landing. I want that question mark as big as it can get.