In late 2009, I became fascinated by the idea of living in Portland, Oregon. I had never been there, and didn’t have any close friends who lived there. But when I started researching the city and discovered the culture and sense of connection to the environment, I knew it would be an excellent fit for me.
In the nearly 2 years since, I’ve gone through some substantial changes in my personal and professional life. I went from working at an agency where I felt stifled and frustrated to shaping my own business based around helping change agents propel their work into the world. I decided I was ready to sell the loft that I’ve lived in since 2002 and move out of Atlanta, which was a huge decision that came after some intense soul searching and re-framing. I thought I had gone through all of the letting go process when I first decided to put the loft on the market. Tonight, I realize that it was all theory.
I decided to offer a lease option about a month ago, and since then, it’s been more like the process of leasing an apartment in Manhattan than selling a loft in Atlanta. I’m now juggling multiple offers including one that wants to move in on September 1. As in, 7 days from now.
Reality has finally begun to set in, and the magnitude of what I’m embarking on is hitting me fully for the first time.
I remember the day I bought this loft like it was yesterday. It was a sunny, warm Summer afternoon in late June 2006. The actual closing was one of those stressful transactions which actually got postponed a day after I had sat in the attorney’s office for over 2 hours and signed a mountain of papers that would unfortunately have to be re-signed the next day. When it was finally done the next day, I felt such a huge sense of accomplishment.
I had always dreamed of owning the loft, and not only was it done, but I had managed to work out an amazing renovation into the deal. Even walking into the loft that evening felt different. It was the same place that I had been living in for years, but it felt different after that day.
My Grandmother was in the hospital at the time recovering from a stroke. I went to visit her that afternoon to share my exciting news. I was officially a homeowner! I had always wanted to make her proud, and that day I truly felt proud. Sadly, she wouldn’t live to visit the loft again. She died 3 weeks later, which to this day is one of the most painful losses of my life.
I’m not going to sugarcoat this. Today, I’m a little scared.
It’s not that I don’t think I’m doing the right thing. I know I’m doing the right thing. But it doesn’t change the fact that I’m turning the page on a big part of my life. A part that has shaped me in more ways that I probably realize. And I have no idea what is going to happen next. I just know that life is going to be very different 1 week from now.
Beyond making peace with leaving, now I have all the details to sort out. All of the furniture to find a home for. All of the logistics of what goes where and how I’m going to actually do this move, not to mention where I’m going to live and when. I’ve lived in this same building for over 10 years, which is crazy for me to think about. I essentially became an adult here and accumulated lots of things that adults have. You know, like dining tables and kitchen equipment. Down comforters and filing cabinets. It’s all got to be dispersed, and quickly.
If I didn’t have anything else to do right now, this could easily consume my time. But I have more things in the works now than any time in the past decade. The most incredible projects I’ve ever worked on in my life are being birthed, right now. I’ll be sharing much more about them in the coming days, so please stay tuned. I promise, it’s going to be amazing! It’s impossible to hold back the tears as I write this, so I’ve stopped trying.
I paused a few minutes ago to refer back to the teaser video for the new Jonathan Fields book, Uncertainty. I can barely begin to express how profound this message is for the experience I’m going through right now. If you have a moment, I encourage you to watch the video below and pre-order the book. Click here if you can’t see the video.
This passage from Jonathan brought the tears welling right back up in my eyes:
“What is it that allows certain people to take action in the face of tremendous uncertainty? How can we do it? What can we bring into our lives, in our work lives and our personal lives, to allow us to go to that place where genius is birthed, but be OK there, to not suffer and to lean into it, and to even invite, maybe even amplify uncertainty in the name of creating amazing things in life?”
When I look back over the past year, I’m absolutely stunned at what has manifested and how much I’ve aligned with the life I said I wanted to live, despite being on the edge of the cliff essentially the entire time. My hope is to stay in this zone in the weeks ahead and be ok with the tremendous uncertainty that’s a part of this process. I don’t know what allows me to take this action right now, but the thing I know with 100% certainty is that I am indeed creating amazing things in life. Right now.
I’m so happy to be sharing this journey with the world, and hope that this can provide some inspiration for others to look inward and truly consider what makes them happy. I invite you to step out on the ledge from time to time and imagine what’s possible if you stare uncertainty in the face and go for it anyway.
How have you embraced uncertainty in the past? If you have stories of triumph or failure you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them in the comments.
And, I’m not kidding – if anything in this post has resonated with you, I highly encourage you to check out Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields. It’s a game changer.
Photo: On the edge of Little River Canyon