Tuesday, February 7, 2012

(Bitter)Sweet New Chapter

Lots and lots of emotions are whirling around for me right now. I couldn't even really put thought to this post last week when I wanted to. I like to be really precise with things and I was going to write on the exact day I gave my notice at work but I was feeling a lot of crazy stuff. I've since had a few days to settle down so I'm feeling more at ease.

As mentioned, I gave my official notice at work last week and I've got one month left before I embark on the biggest change of my life. As of March 2nd, I'll no longer be working in the safe little comfort zone I've been in the past four years and instead I'll be preparing to start culinary school, a dream I've had for ten years. This decision has come with a very fair share of weighted thoughts and feelings but, at the end of the day, it's a decision I feel most confidently led by god to pursue. Words can't really describe what I'm feeling because, for me, making big changes without being guided by fear has been a challenge most of my life. I really appreciate that I'm an analytical, thoughtful person but those attributes have most often not played well in my favor over time. For the past couple of years, I've put a lot of work toward making changes, breaking patterns, fighting fear...I've put work toward changing my life. It's been a really tough road at times but "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". Boy, has that been the case for me.

People make decisions everyday. They leave jobs, leave relationships, start jobs, start relationships - they live life and they do so in all different ways. I've admired people who seemingly make changes with ease and I've always wondered things like how do they seem so unafraid, so confident? I think I've finally figured out that having faith in something extends far wider than what my short-sighted (at times) mind can understand.

Merriam-Webster defines faith as a "firm belief in something for which there is no proof; complete trust". Hebrews 11:1 states faith as being "sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see". It's known that I'm very strongly rooted in my relationship with god but I think we can all see the direct similarity here of what having faith means whether you believe in a god of any kind or not. It means being confident in something that you can't control or see. It means trusting what you believe in. It means being boldly able to find peace in a situation or circumstance that has no tangible, physical explanation or proof. For me, having faith has become more of a joy over the past two years than a pain. I'll explain why. I think we're all driven by an inherent need to believe - in something - and, more often than not, 'ourselves' is the last thing on the list. Society, and all the opinionated people in it, drives us to aspire to be something we're not or to have false security in money, fame, power...add anything you want to that list...and yet it's substanceless, empty and false. Believing in ourselves somehow becomes something unattainable and we wake up one day feeling isolated, lonely and lost. After feeling that way far too many times in the past, I made a direct challenge to myself. I decided that, once and for all, I'd choose to release control to god and to have faith in what he'd do in my life after.

I won't talk all about that journey because it's much too personal and, let's face it, I'm verbose enough. However, the point I'll make is that holding fast to the faith I have in god and in myself has opened doors that I'd never been able to imagine. I feel free, peaceful, comfortable and confident. I'm scared, don't get me wrong, but there's a difference in being scared and being fearful. I'm really thrilled for this next step I'm taking and, while being in Italy for five out of seven months is a complete dream, I'm going to use the nerves I have to push, sharpen and drive me. I'll miss my job tremendously so it is a very bittersweet goodbye but this is such an awesome time in my life and new chapter I'm beginning. I feel unbelievably blessed and I look forward to seeing what I'm really made of. School starts on March 12th and, ten weeks after that, I'll be saying arrivederci to the Big Apple.

Onward and upward I go, taking the first step on the path to my dream. I can't wait to see what's in store...