fear, NYC, reflections, spirituality

on the wisdom of heeding (good) advice

Several weeks ago, I had an experience that felt like a white-light moment — you know, those instances when things fit together just right and every decision you’ve ever made feels as though it were precisely the right one to get you into exactly the place you were meant to be. I called a friend of mine when I was in that moment, specifically one that felt like “moving to New York City was the absolutely right choice for me, and I can’t believe I ever doubted that fact.”

My friend told me to mark the day I felt that way on my calendar with a big red star. “One day you will be doubting yourself again, wondering if moving here was the right choice,” she said. “And you’ll need to reassure yourself by remembering that, at least for one day, you knew that it was.”

I didn’t follow her advice. I never put that red star on my calendar. And now I have no idea when it was that everything last made sense in a way that didn’t make me feel crazy for believing I could move to New York and make something of myself — no matter how small of a “something” — and that all the doubt and the fear and the struggles and the hustling would mean something in the end.

Today I bought a pack of those metallic star stickers that teachers put on students’ A+ papers, and I put a sheet of them in the pocket in the back of my datebook. I now have hundreds of shiny stars — gold, blue, green, red — at my disposal, ready to make note of the moments when things make sense again. I don’t know if they will ever be used, but I know there was at least one day at which one of them would have been. I just don’t know when. Next time, though, I will.

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