“When just starting out on a new journey it’s only natural to feel vulnerable. After all, it may seem that you have much to lose. But may I remind you that never again, at any other point in the same journey, will you have so much to gain.” ~ Mike Dooley
Growing up in rural Wisconsin, I always felt like I wanted to live somewhere much bigger. I love nature and the wild, but I was also always drawn to big cities. I love the hustle and bustle of people; traffic; and life. I eventually moved to Chicago. It was scary at first. I watched the news, so I was aware of the dangers of walking alone at night. Even taking the subway trains was a little intimidating at first. The longer I lived there, the more accustomed I became to my surroundings. My fears, doubts and worries about the city life soon vanished and I really came to enjoy living in a big city.
When I met my husband, we talked about moving from Chicago to Los Angeles. I was attracted to the idea of living near the ocean with mild winters. But that was it. I knew very little of Los Angeles, California. I imagined that everybody was pretentious and unfriendly. My perception mirrored what I saw on television shows like Beverly Hills 90210 or The Real Housewives of Orange County. On the other end of that fear was gangs and thugs. I was afraid that I wouldn’t meet anyone that I could relate to.
I also worried that housing would be expensive. We had no idea where to even begin looking for a place to live. I thought we would have to sacrifice our safety and live in a poor part of the city in order to afford living in LA. I had no idea what the job market would be like. Would I be able to find work that I enjoy? I worried that we might get involved with the wrong kind of people or situations and end up homeless. These are huge fears! I had no idea what adventures awaited me. What I did know was that I wasn’t going to let fear decide my fate.
Since being in Los Angeles, I have worked on jobs that were never available to me in Chicago. I’ve done so many things that were merely dreams. I have met hundreds of extremely creative people. I am swimming in a sea full of artists that think like me! We live in an affordable and beautiful neighborhood with plenty of safety and security. Every single one of my fears existed as a truth – but none of them have materialized. Instead, I have gained a tremendous amount of freedom and fulfillment. I would have missed out on many life changing opportunities had I listened to any fear, doubt or worry.
What examples can you give of times when you felt vulnerable? Did you take steps forward despite your fears? What did you gain from the journey?