Two years ago I took a leap of faith. Faith in myself, for the first time in my entire life. It was not a spontaneous leap. Sadly, it was a leap that was 11 years in the making. For 11 years I tried to convince myself that I was happy with what I had, content with myself and my lot in life, comfortable with the choices I had made.
Then one day in February, I woke up. Not after a good night’s sleep. I actually woke up at about 3 a.m. after pacing the floor most of the night trying to convince myself not to march outside, find a jerry can of gas and light up the man cave out back with it. For months I had fantasized about standing on the deck with a rocket launcher pointed roughly north east and the satisfaction of the ensuing boom that would signal the destruction of the thing I hated most. I was angry. Really angry; seething with a loathing that was burning me up.
Then something inside me snapped. I felt it. I heard it. There was an audible, palpable crack deep inside me and, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a sensation of utter liberation and freedom exploded from some place deep inside. I would not burn the man cave that night. I would, however, take back my life. I had realized that the thing I hated, the thing I was most angry with, was me.
That night I started an incredible journey. I woke up to the realization that I was worthy of so much more. And, by the gods, I am going to have it all. I made the most thrilling, most painful decision of my life and took that leap of faith that was so many years in the making.
Here I am today, happier than I have ever really been before. I have come to value and relish in my new-found independence. I am meeting new people, learning new skills and discovering who I am – who I really am. And who I am not!
Have there been any regrets? At times, I admit, there have been pangs of sorrow for what I left behind. I’ve felt that old anger rise up from time to time, the resentment I lived with for so long burning wildly again. I have been pushed to my knees by fear and doubt. I have felt myself drowning in if-onlys. But if I’ve learned anything these past two years, it’s to use that anger, resentment, fear and doubt that burns so cruelly to fuel the fires of inspiration and creativity. And that phoenix rises again. And again. And again.
I remind myself of the good things that have come out of my choices. My incredible daughters. My amazing grandchildren. My wonderful home. My fabulous job. The awesome friends I have. The potential that lies before and within me!
And still there is a precious and delicate thread that connects me to what was good about the past. I took my leap of faith and somehow managed to land in a place where I have a fresh perspective, one of respect and gratitude for the very thing that drove me to take that leap of faith. It’s tentative and precarious, fraught with reservation and uncertainty. But I no longer fear it breaking. If it does, so be it.
Change has always been something I have resisted. I’m human that way, I suppose. But now I’m embracing the dynamic nature of life, looking forward to what may come instead of dreading it. Challenge isn’t terrifying. I don’t need to know everything (but I’ll never stop questioning it!)
What future leaps of faith are in store for me? Don’t know. But I do know that I will take them. And I’ll land on my feet for I am a tiger and nothing will stop me!