Because the Universe Has Your Back...
Yesterday I had this wave of anxiety rush over me quite unlike anything I've ever felt. I'm not at all an anxious person (at least not in my adult life), so this sudden shock of paralyzing emotion as I was walking to meet friends at a coffee shop in Belgrade led me to the edge of panic. I began to question everything I was doing-recent decisions, my financial situation and where I want to end up at the end of this year. I had the overwhelming feeling that despite amazing experiences and travel, I had wasted the last 5 months without any sense of personal development or professional progress. Images of certainty I once held felt like they were inching away one side trip, glass of Roze and late European summer night out at a time. The bubble of anxiety that surrounded me expands beyond my own personal space though as my whole Remote Year group seems to be going through a 'storming' phase. This is inevitable for a group this size that is shifting dynamics and adjusting to new locations and cultures every month. I'm sure the tornado around me temporarily impacted my own internal turmoil (though I have no one else to blame but myself for LETTING it affect me!).
I happen to be re-reading The Universe Has Your Back by Gabriel Bernstein. Just yesterday morning I read the chapter about surrendering to the universe and trusting in universal signs to guide you. I picked up my journal, identified my major areas of contention and selected my 'sign'. In the midst of my panic yesterday, I unexpectedly looked up to see the 'sign' I had chosen that morning on a restaurant banner ahead of me. A wave of calm washed over me as I reminded myself it's okay to be in flux, that my sense of urgency was unwarranted and that obstacles are detours in the right direction. During my walk to the coffee shop, I momentarily entered a mindset where I let fear guide me and I was trying to control the uncontrollable.
Today I went to a new hairdresser to schedule a blow out and when they handed me the business card, there it was again- my sign! For the record, the sign I chose is not something I would expect to see all over Belgrade! The series of events reminded me of a blog post I wrote back in September (soon after accepting my invitation to Remote Year and quitting my job in NYC) about 'Letting Go' (excerpt below). Rereading it and finding my signs over the last two days reinforced that when you let go and trust in the universe, things start to transpire in your favor. When you live in fear and resist the power of the universe, well, the opposite happens- physical illnesses and ailments included. Today I feel confident again that I am where I'm supposed to be right now. I'm still far from knowing all the answers, but sometimes all you need is a little more patience and a little more faith.
Excerpt from 'Letting Go' blog post:
And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good.
- John Steinbeck
I have a history of perfectionist tendencies. I held myself to the utmost standards of academic excellence, I wanted unwavering control over every aspect of my life, and I had unrealistic expectations of others. These tendencies left me unfulfilled and empty and at age 18 nearly killed me, but that's a story for another blog post.
I've worked extremely hard over the last 14 years to let go of perfectionism and any other tendencies or habits that don't serve me. As a result I am happier and more energetic, I laugh at myself, I take risks and I learn from my mistakes. I can't always be in the driver's seat; life is a series of unexpected turns and I can't wait to find out where this wild, winding road takes me!