The uncertainty, the fear of the unknown.
It is much easier to keep the status quo, no matter how unhappy you may be, because it is familiar.
I always dreamed of being a scientist. As a little girl I wanted to be a zoologist, biologist, anything with an -ologist after it, it seemed. I knew what I wanted, I was sure.
And I achieved my goal.
I set out to do exactly what I said I wanted to do as a child. But, as I sat at my post doc lab bench at 3 AM for the third time in one week I realized I was unhappy. I remembered how happy I was earlier in the day when I was in my kitchen making homemade yogurt for the first time. I pondered to myself
Have I journeyed too far down this road to turn back? Can I change course? Is it too late? Am I committed to the life I chose?
I thought, and I thought, and I thought.
I could logically convince myself that I had chosen my path already and it was a good one. But, logic wasn’t what I wanted to listen to. I wanted to listen to my heart. My soul. My spirit.
She wanted to do something else. She yearned to be passionate about her job again. And, she was just fed up enough with 3 AM experiments to let her guard down and rock the boat.
Down with Status Quo! Down with the Fear of the Unknown! Down with Familiarity!
She leaped off that cliff, and at the last moment I clasped her hand and plunged into the unknown with her.
I decided to follow my passion and teach. I was blissfully happy. Then, I decided to follow my next passion – my children. I taught and held my kiddos close. And I was even happier. Then, seeing that the unknown is not scary at all, I decided to pick up sewing again. And my happiness grew again as I cherish my children, teach others, and blissfully transform fabric and thread on my sewing machine.
Recently when several of my friends and family urged me to consider opening my own sewing shop I didn’t even hesitate. I jumped, squealing with delight as I felt the wind rush by my face in excitement. More happiness.
Each time I listened to the voice inside me telling me to follow my heart, put my fears aside, I changed my path a little, the course of my life a little, and gained massive amounts of happiness.
Boy am I grateful I was listening.
This post was inspired by the novel A Well-Tempered Heart by Jan-Philipp Sendker. Feeling lost and burned out, Julia drops her well paying job at a NYC law firm. After hearing a stranger’s voice in her head, she travels to Burma to find the voice’s story and hopefully herself as well. Join From Left to Write on February 4 we discuss A Well-Tempered Heart. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.
And, if you are curious, I loved every beautiful word of this book 🙂