Two years ago today, I got on a plane from Baltimore-Washington International Airport and flew to SETAC International Airport in Seattle, Washington to visit the University of Washington where I ended up meeting the people that would become an integral part of my new home out here. I had never stepped foot in this part of the country, and had only imagined what it would look like, smell like, and feel like.
That week after meetings on campus, I was ecstatic about the possibilities, and hopeful for the new life I could build. I jumped in head first and was drinking up the possibilities. I felt alive.
That weekend, I rented a car and drove out to reconnect with an old friend and started to experience the majesty of the outdoors of the PNW. Again, my very cells absorbed the possibilities and started to plant the seeds of a vision. I also met a new friend that has been an integral part in me becoming the person I am today. Someone with unending patience and love and grace and for whose friendship I am extraordinarily and humbly grateful for.
I sometimes can’t believe how drastically and wonderfully my life has changed.
For so so long I never imagined going so far away and building something completely on my own. I am really proud of myself. It is certainly not easy, and some moments it seems nearly impossible. But I find myself waking up each morning with the chance to keep going, keep trying, keep learning and keep breathing. One thing I have been eternally grateful for is the clarity of vision – I have never once doubted in the slightest my decision to come out here. I have most certainly doubted certain decisions and choices along the way, and I have struggled to be gentle with myself because of these choices, but I have never questioned the whole thing.
Sometimes I wonder about the future and it seems foggy and cloudy and uncomfortably unknown, but I am deeply firmly rooted in the fact that I know I made the right decision, and I am on the right path. I often feel lost and scared in not knowing where that path is going, but I have committed to keeping my heart and mind open to the possibilities and opportunities that the universe may present me with – ones that I have not even considered yet.
My heart and mind are open to the fact that I am continuously shifting and changing in my understanding of my life’s purpose. I listen to the quite voices inside my heart that tell me to listen more closely, to better pay attention – try bending down or climbing up to see a different vantage point.
5 years ago I saw my life’s plan out in front of me – I was pretty sure what it looked like and I thought I had it figured out. Yeah, not so much. I am eternally grateful for the seed of an idea that planted itself in my heart, a little voice that said I wanted something different, that I had other options, that I could build something of my own.
In these past years, I have often though of my many ancestors who embarked out of their comfort zone, away from from the known and into the unknown to build something. I think of my great-grandpa Hidee who left everything in Massachusetts, and took his Italian immigrant bride to Maryland to, literally, build something new – Willard and Sons’s Boatyard, on Mill Creek along the Chesapeake Bay where my family called home for 5 generations.
When I was leaving I was terribly torn to leave my family’s home, but I felt the quiet and comforting support of my great-grandpa encouraging me, giving me permission to leave and start something new, build something with love, search for a profound personal peace.
So here I am. Working. Trying. Loving. Hurting. Breathing. But most importantly, alive. Joyfully, humbly, dancingly, colorfully, respectfully, “child’s-pose” grateful…