The day I decided to walk away from my job, my son, my house and all of my everyday responsibilities for three-and-a-half months was a decision I will never regret.
Originally, I had planned on going to the south of France to stay with a friend for two weeks this summer. I started looking at tickets and called my friend, Barbara, in France. Out of the blue she said, “You should really come live here for the entire summer.”
At that moment, I didn’t even consider it. It seemed absolutely impossible and undoable. Little did I realize that the small seed was planted, and it was already too late. It started to sprout, at first in passing thoughts, then dreams at night, then full-on daily fantasies. I imagined spending the entire summer, living near the sea with my best friend in the south of France. I spent two weeks thinking about all of the reasons that it could not be done, that it was absolutely impossible for me to leave for that long.
What would the law firm I work for say? Surely I’d lose my job…
Who would take care of my 17-year-old son? Yes, he’s very mature and has had to spend time alone since I’ve raised him by myself and always worked. But seriously, he still leaves a trail of dirty socks and PowerBar wrappers around the house and forgets about all sorts of things I ask him to do. I thought, he totally needs me to stay here and take care of him.
And what about my house? I rent out the basement on Airbnb and live upstairs with my son. Who would make sure that everything was okay and take care the lawn?
And my cat, how would he manage to stay alive without me?
And then, of course, there was plenty of worry about money. Could I find a job in France? Should I take the money out of my retirement account? Would I be able to continue to pay the bills in Utah if I left for the summer?
I was stuck—stuck in fear in uncertainty and paralyzed by the what-if’s. I was letting my thoughts rule my mood and felt anxious and stressed. I was not taking the time to do my daily soul work, my meditation, and to connect with the universe, with god, and with myself. I knew that if I took the time to slow down in silence and listen, my heart would tell me what to do. But I didn’t. I just kept listening to the voice in my head telling me over and over again that walking away from my job, my son, my house, and all of my everyday responsibilities was completely insane and absolutely impossible.
So often we forget that the answers are always there for us if we look within. We know what is best for us, what our hearts long for in life if we can just take the time to pay attention and listen to our intuition and trust in it. For a long time, the trusting part was very difficult for me. I didn’t trust myself to know what was right for me. When I look at those words, I think, how ridiculous! No one knows me better than myself. Though people, family, friends, and society try hard to tell us what kind of life to live and what is best for us, they really have no idea and are simply basing their opinions on their own fears, values, stories, and past experiences.
After two weeks of feeling anxious and unsure, I decided I would go for two weeks as I’d originally planned. I was using frequent flyer miles for my ticket and had exactly 93,000 miles to use. I found the dates I wanted to go in July, and the ticket was 114,000 miles. Going for two weeks in August was the same. Suddenly, I was in panic mode. I only had 93,000 miles. What if I couldn’t go at all? I looked up how many miles it would take to leave from May through September just to reassure myself, thinking it would be much more.
And then the number came up: 93,000 miles.
I truly knew what I had to do in that moment.
I’m a big believer in signs and coincidences, and I knew that this was the universe telling me to let go. To let go of my worries, my what if’s, to trust in life, to take a risk and to go spend three months in France. I’m also a big believer in buying plane tickets first and then making the plans and preparations after. I’ve always felt that if we put off doing something until we’re “ready,” it will never happen.
The Delta window sat open on my desktop at work all afternoon. I must have refreshed it 30 times. Oh, the mental pain of indecision and imagining that we have any sort of control over the future. My heart beat the word yes, over and over again. My soul whispered, do it, the only thing holding you back is fear of the unknown.
At 5:00 p.m., before leaving the office to head home, I clicked on the “complete purchase” button.
My shoulders dropped, my jaw softened, and I felt lighter, almost giddy. It was that easy. Instead of staying stuck in indecision of the unknown, I listened to my heart, took action and right away stepped through a door that was opened to me for a reason. I stepped into uncertainty, adventure, not knowing, and it felt wonderful and light and free.
With only a month before leaving, it was not much of a surprise that everything started to fall into place. The universe was there for me as was my guardian angel and god. And by letting go and trusting them all, I was in a different energy space. An energy of moving forward. And so I did.
The law firm gave me a leave of absence. I rented out the basement apartment to long-term renters and hired someone to take care of the lawn. I put all of my bills on auto pay and took the money I would need out of my retirement account. The hardest part was leaving my son alone. But he was my biggest supporter. He was the one that told me, “Mom, you have to go. You love it there, your friends are there, and you’re always happy when you go to France. I’ll be fine mom. You can trust me. Besides, I love being alone at home.”
I had to believe him and trust him and know that this was his truth, his choice. “Won’t you be lonely I asked? I don’t want you to feel like I’m abandoning you.” He rolled his eyes and said, “Mom, just go.” I ended up buying a ticket for him to come stay with me for a month. That way he would be spending the month of June and August alone and the month of July in France with me.
I put together five different resumes in English and French. Anything I had some sort of experience in, from bartending to teaching yoga to travel writing to working as a tour guide. I packed my bag, took the cat to my parents house, and the morning my son drove me to the airport, we played his rap music so loud and laughed so hard I cried. We were both so excited for this time of freedom for both of us.
I’ve been here for six weeks already and guess what? My house hasn’t burned down, my cat is getting spoiled by my parents, the renters in my basement apartment are great, and my son did just fine at home by himself for a month. He got himself to work every day, and had the time of his life with his friends. He arrived here in France last week.
In the six weeks I’ve been here, I’ve bartended a bit, taught some private yoga classes and done a lot of travel writing. I’ve been interviewing the most wonderful people and making new connections and working on my website. But most of all, I’ve slowed down. I allow myself to luxuriate in stillness each morning, to adore my time alone, to meditate and walk outdoors every single day. I swim in the sea for hours and float on my back, staring up at the blue sky until a wave crashes over me and I get saltwater up my nose and in my eyes. I feel like a little girl again. I’m learning to play. I spend more time feeling and less time thinking and doing.
I do my soul work every day and live in such a space of gratitude. For this opportunity, for my life, for the sun, the sea, the trees and for my steady beating heart and my calming breath.
I’m learning that listening to and following our intuition are the most important things that we can do to find meaning in our lives. I know that there is an entire world inside myself to explore and nourish each day and that this inner world is much more important than the outside world. It’s all we really have and no one can take it away from us. The type of inner world we choose to build is entirely up to each of us.
I’m learning that’s it’s okay to simply walk away from responsibility for a short or a long period of time. It’s okay, and it’s good to simply take a break from the things that weigh us down.
It’s our personal responsibility to walk away from what the world tells us we should be doing and to embrace what our soul, our heart, and our intuition is calling us toward.
“I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.” ~ Anaïs Nin
Author: Melissa Snow
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Social Editor: Erin Lawson