There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
One-way ticket. Where? Nowhere maybe. Everywhere maybe. Was I running away or running toward my future? That was yet to be determined. All I knew was that I needed to go. I grasped that one-way ticket with both hands and held on to hope. It was all that I had. I didn’t question. Inside, deep down inside, I knew it was the only way. If I stayed, I would shrivel up and die, shrink deeper into sadness and despair. Darkness and loneliness were just slightly behind me. Like a burgeoning plant, I leaned towards the light. I chose the light with all of my being.
And so I went.
I leapt without a plan or an exit strategy. A one-way ticket is what I had; that and my intuition to guide me. I loved this man and I felt no fear. I knew these two things to be true; that I would always be safe with him and that I loved him and he loved me. The rest didn’t matter. Not a well-laid out plan or certainty of what the future held. That didn’t matter. Love mattered and what had always mattered. Love in its pure essence and virgin state. Love would not be denied. Love was my compass. It was all I had. It was the only certainty that I needed. Love.
And so, I went. There was no choice left to be made but to lean into the light and love. I leapt into the light of our love without looking back. I was leaving everything that I had known and everyone that I loved behind. I was moving almost 2,500 miles away from all that I had ever known. What was there to fear? Those doubts and questions from everyone that I knew didn’t sway or penetrate my heart. My heart was leading me to my only constant and certainty. I was sure that I must go to him.
That was the best decision that I have ever made. Twenty plus years later, I’ve never second-guessed the choice to leave family and friends and begin a new life all the way across the country. It was a choice made with love. My heart led me and I followed, trusting that all of the details would be worked out.
When I was alone, knowing not one soul, I read books or listened to music on the beat up second hand radio. I waited for my love to return. Back to our shared temporary apartment with its bare rooms, rent-a-center furniture and TV repossessed for lack of payment. I hung in there, nourished by love and the sun’s rays of protection. I laid out in the sun and soaked every bit of energy into my skin and soul. I spent time laying out doing nothing and I was happy. Even when going hungry and scraping together change for a cheap burger at the gas station on the corner, I was happy. I was brave. I took a risk to leave every comfort afforded to me and trusted my heart.
Now, I look back at that young girl with admiration and awe. That was me, then. Almost unrecognizable from the pragmatic and realistic “grownup” that I see in the mirror now. That’s still me now. I draw on that girl’s courage and strength now to guide me. Relying on my heart and trusting that everything else will work itself out has been a constant lesson that I refer back to time and time again. I didn’t have a plan then and I don’t know where life will take me now. But, I know this. I trust my heart. I choose love. I will always be steered in the right direction. Life is a constant path with all it’s unique turns and curves and it’s all meant to help you learn how brilliant, how strong you are. I’m that girl with no plan but with hope and trust. I finally believe in myself. So much so that I’m willing to plunge into the unknown with complete trust. It’s time. I didn’t know what was going to happen back then but I jumped anyway. I always knew that if I followed my heart, it would never lead me astray.