I came across this simple but profound poem by Shel Silverstein last winter.
On an early Moncton morning in July of last year, I loaded up my car in the dark and took off for the ferry to Newfoundland. I cried for most of the five hour drive there and tried to ignore the knots in my stomach. I’d spent the last couple months trying to explain to both myself and others why I was giving up a full-time teaching job and an active social life in a thriving city in order to return to my hometown where a job certainly wasn’t waiting for me, and the majority of my friends no longer lived.
Every time I made an attempt at explaining, the words coming out of my mouth felt so weird. I couldn’t find a way to eloquently say it just felt like the right thing to do.
Standing on the other side of that decision now, I’ve come to a really important realization. There will always be some degree of separation between the dreams we have for our lives and the perceptions that others have about those dreams. Even from the people that love and support us. Seeking the wise counsel and advice of others can help us consider things from arm’s length when we can’t see past the emotional blinders of making a huge decision. But they can’t live our stories for us, no matter how much we value their opinions and advice. We’re the only ones who can speak on behalf of our hearts.
That realization has yielded an equal amount of “no duh” and “wow” moments, but it never feels any less profound.
Driving into the daylight that July morning, I felt a deep sadness for the life I’d spent the last two years creating that I was now leaving behind. I didn’t know what I was heading towards, but I felt something gently guiding me and nudging me to just keep going. I still miss the city of Moncton and all the incredible people who poured into my life there. But something told me that maybe God has something else in store for me, different than I had originally planned for myself. Regardless of my ever-changing feelings, I chose to listen to the little voice that whispered, this will be good.
It was right.