Okay, if I can finish part two today (I finished the first part yesterday but forgot to publish it) then maybe I can get the whole story to you in one day. Or, at least, the part of the story that exists so far. If you haven’t read part one yet, you should do that or you might be confused. I’d link to it here, but it’s been so long since I’ve used WordPress that I can’t figure out how to do anything anymore, and I’m running out of time. 🙂
So, you all know me by now. You know I’m big on prayer and meditation. Over the past several years, since I’ve gotten clean and pulled my life together, my inner voice, my intuition, has grown loud and clear. What mucks it up for me most of all is my own self-doubt and fear, which is understandable considering the shit show my life had been up until 2015. Trust is a hard thing to rebuild, even when it’s your relationship with yourself. Perhaps even more so when it’s with yourself; looking back, I’ve had a much easier time forgiving and forgetting with others than I ever have with me, but…makes sense. After all, I wrecked my life thoroughly for many years. But I have to live with me, so I had to learn, slowly, to trust myself. I’m not the person I was before.
But as usual, I digress. I knew there was more to this trip for me than just a breather from my grim reality. This was my third trip back east in as many years, and I knew in my heart this was my deciding trip. If I was still in love with it this time, I needed to make up my mind about moving. Guess what? Not only was I still in love, I was even more in love this time. So, on a sunny September morning in the little cottage that looked out over the Atlantic ocean, I sat down in front of a big window and I prayed for a sign that being there was what I was supposed to do. “And not a hint, either, please.” I said, “I need it to be clear, otherwise I’ll talk myself out of it.”
Well, a few hours later, I got a message from a friend I’d known in Reno years ago. He said “Courtney, I see you’re in Maine. I have a friend there who is looking for someone to rent his condo on the beach.”
I mean…it doesn’t really get much clearer than that, does it?
From there, things really took off. I enjoyed the rest of my trip, of course. But in the back of my mind, after speaking with the owner of the condo and understanding that the place was mine if I wanted it, I knew the universe was telling me it was time. Time to take action. Time to take one of those leaps of faith that had always worked out so well for me in the past. Time to stop wavering and make a decision.
Coming home to California was hard. I missed my house and my pets and my normal life, but also…all the traffic and graffiti, all the garbage piled up on the sides of the road through San Francisco and San Jose was jarring after so much beauty. The air was clearer, thank God, but you could still smell the smoke. And being in my house after living in such a minimalist environment for a week made me feel suffocated. I wanted to throw away almost everything I owned.
I got home on a Saturday. On Sunday evening, I went up to my bosses house- she also happens to be one of my dearest friends- and I told her about the condo. I told her that I wanted to go, at least for a year. She told me she didn’t think it was going to happen. She didn’t think they would agree to letting me go. I felt disheartened and a little nervous, but I said I wanted to ask anyway. What’s the harm in asking, right?
So, on Tuesday morning (because I chickened out on Monday) I wrote what might have been the most unprofessional email of my life. Because, see, I wasn’t trying to be Courtney the employee, I was trying to be Courtney, the human being you have known for thirteen years now. I explained a lot of things that were highly personal, including financial stuff. I made it clear that I knew what I was saying was neither polished nor appropriate, but I wanted my reasoning to be understood. I asked my boss to look it over. She said it was terrible and too much. I sent it anyway.
A few minutes later, I got an abrupt response from my director. Maybe three sentences to my three paragraphs. She wasn’t sure, we didn’t really do that, but she’d make some inquiries. My heart sank a little bit. I’d already decided I would graciously accept whatever answer I was given, but…I also knew that whatever answer I got, it was time for me to start getting my ducks in a row. I updated my LinkedIn and began searching jobs. Maybe I couldn’t take this opportunity, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t start looking for the next one.
Then, last week, I woke up one morning with a funny feeling. I felt light and effervescent, kind of, as if my body knew something I didn’t. The thought “Good news is coming!” and “You’re gonna get good news today!” kept running through my head. I had no reason at all to think this, no indication of any sort that things were moving along. Nevertheless, the thoughts kept coming, non-stop. It was weird, for sure, but I swear on my life I am telling the truth.
And then I got the email. “Courtney, I have good news! We do allow this type of employment now.” There was more, but…what?! Are you kidding me?! After sending effusive thank-you’s to both my boss and director, I sat down and tried to finish the workday productively.
In the space of a few short days, I had been given every single thing I had dreamed of over the past few years. All of it. I could move to Maine, I could keep my job, I could save money for a house. I had finally asked, and the answer was somehow yes. It was impossible, I’d thought, yet…here I was, holding it in my hands.
So…why was I completely terrified?