When I first moved to New York City in January 2016, I joked it was because it was the cheapest way to get back to the United States. In reality, it’s more complicated than that. It involves an internship I walked away from, another job opportunity I couldn’t ignore, and the encouragement of many good friends that I trust with my life. But at the end of the day, I flew straight from Northern Ireland to New York without a job, an apartment, a plan, or an idea how to use the subway system. I wasn’t ready to move there. But I crossed my fingers and jumped. And my life has forever been bettered by that decision.
The day I finally ran all the way to the top of this really big hill I’d been training on was a day I hadn’t even planned on lacing my shoes. But as I slowed down after a solid 5 mile run, I saw the hill and figured why not? I hadn’t mentally psyched myself up or thought about conquering it while brushing my teeth that morning. But some little spark of inspiration hit me. And even though I “wasn’t ready,” I ran to the top of the hill. I wasn’t ready to push my body in that way. But I took a deep breath and put one foot in front of the other. And I cried when I reached the top.
The day I met a gentle human with kind eyes and a contagious laugh, I was not trying to fall in love. I hadn’t woken up that day thinking about how I might spend my next Valentine’s Day or whether it might be nice to make two mugs of tea some mornings. I wasn’t seeking my When Harry Met Sally moment nor was I sure I was ready to slip my heart into someone else’s hands. I wasn’t ready to feel that much. But I held my breath and I took a chance. And suddenly every love song made sense.
Sometimes, when we’re least expecting it… when we feel the least “ready” something beautiful will arrive without ceremony or fanfare. Something world shaking and life changing will appear and man, will it be tempting to take the easy out.
But if you focus on that spark long enough… if you let yourself dream just a little… if you push yourself to move outside of what any conventional wisdom or preconceived comfort zone might tell you…
If you trust yourself (and your heart) first, it just might become one of the best decisions of your life.
We might never feel “ready” for all the beautiful things we have yet to experience… but if we don’t give them a chance to grow, we’ll never know what we might have missed.