“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.” Steve Jobs
Do you believe in fate or coincidences? I do.
Do you TRUST that things will turn out the way they were meant to even if it’s not the result you wanted or expected? I do.
Do you believe that spontaneity is the best kind of adventure? I do.
TRUST. That’s a big word. Only 5 letters, but the meaning by which we correlate this word in our life, the people we love, what we tell others and the entities we believe in is pretty significant. It’s what we surrender to when we are unsure about a decision and feel out of control because this time, the outcome is out of our hands. We say:
TRUST in God.
TRUST. It is a BIG DEAL. It’s POWER. Why? Because when you TRUST, you believe that everything that was meant for you will not pass you, even if it’s not the outcome you wanted or expected. It’s even better.
TRUST is what I have fallen back on when uncertainty was the only thing I saw. But as I look back over the last 12 years and connect the dots in my life, I see how TRUST has taken me exactly where I was meant to be to this day.
A Story About TRUST
I am very spontaneous. Some may call my spontaneity reckless or crazy. Others find it inspiring. While others, who are like-minded, know that it’s just a normal day in the neighborhood. When I decided I was going to go to graduate school, it wasn’t something that I mulled over for months and months. It was after a 16 hour shift at the hospital. I was tired, exhausted, spent, hungry, on the verge of incontinence (all you nurses out there understand!) and very unhappy. The life of a hospital nurse is far from luxurious, and I knew that I couldn’t be of service to my patients or colleagues in this type of setting long term. It took me less than 24 hours to decide that grad school was my next move. Cost? I knew I could get a loan. Debt? I knew I would be able to pay it back. Move? I was open to leaving and going on a new adventure. Next thing you know, I applied to New York University, the one school I chose because it didn’t require you take the GRE. (Thank you Jesus!) I loved the fast track so this was completely aligned with my timeline. When I received my acceptance letter, I had about 6 weeks to find a place to live, land a job and start the long journey ahead. It turns out, I was a travel nurse at the time and one of the perks of the job was a $2100 housing stipend in NYC. About two weeks before my planned move date, I received a call letting me know that I was offered a 16 week contract at Mount Sinai Medical Center. I took a weekend and flew out to my new future home, I found a cute apartment in Chelsea and signed the 12 month contract. I became a NYC resident and lived there for the next 6 years. TRUST.
I believe in fate, and I TRUST that the spontaneous decision I made to move to NYC for graduate school was a major, significant life event. This was the First Dot. The Second Dot was meeting Karen.
How I Met Karen
I absolutely LOVED the people I worked with. They became my work family and my friends in a city that can be very lonely, terrifying and alienating. One of the most special people I met was Karen. She was a dietician on the same floor I worked on at Mount Sinai. We hit it off right away, and she and I became good friends. Neither of us could have planned or understood how this friendship would spark life changing events that would occur years later after I moved back to Minnesota.
If you have heard my story, then the following will sound familiar to you. I found myself there again, in an unhappy place after moving back to Minnesota … stuck in yet another job that didn’t fulfill me and sucked the life out of me, my family and my relationships. Karen and I had lost touch over the years. One night after another exhausting day at work, I received a message from Karen, and the universe had connected us to each other again. We chatted about the present, the future and our dreams. She shared with me that I could have a business that would allow me to do what I have dreamt about doing but could never afford to do, effortlessly pay off my credit card balances every month, cover the cost of my mortgage payments without stressing and go on beach vacations and international trips with my family. It opened my heart to so many possibilities. The next day, I joined her in business not having a plan, strategy or background in how to even run an online home-based business. I TRUSTED that wherever this new opportunity would lead me, it was just part of the bigger plan. This was the Third Dot.
No matter how hard you work or how good you get at something, sometimes, the change you want to see will take time. Warren Buffet said it the best: “No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.” I wasn’t going to get all these things I wanted overnight. It would take time to build up my skills, business and grow it from the ground up. And so here comes the Fourth Dot. My move to Texas.
After returning to MN and living there for 7 years, we were ready to leave the wicked winters. Like many people out there, we always said to each other, “Wouldn’t it be nice to move to a warmer state?” Although, it was just a question, we never really explored it seriously. After a particularly record breaking cold winter, we had HAD it. I said to Eddie, let’s move to Texas. Even though he had just received a huge promotion, we both agreed that it was now or never.
A month later, we put our house up for sale. It sold in two days. We were packed and ready to go 6 weeks later, neither of us with jobs lined up in Texas. But it didn’t matter. I remember telling people this, and they thought I was out of my mind. Why would I be so irresponsible as to move to another state and not find a job first? Something inside me just kept pulling me forward through this journey and I TRUSTED that everything would be fine. And the dots continued to connect one by one. Things just fell into place. I found a job. My online business generated the income we needed to allow Eddie to stay at home and relieve me of my domestic duties. Now here we are in Texas, alive and well, where we proudly call Home, because of yet another spontaneous decision and because of TRUST.
It’s definitely hard to quantify the outcomes because the reality is that opportunities continue to appear and come into my life all the time. But what I can tell you is that a spontaneous decision I made over 12 years ago, that was made in a rash moment and in less than 24 hours, has connected the dots in my life to so many other events; from meeting Karen, to becoming an entrepreneur, to uprooting my family to a new state without job security, being able to replace a single income, to making new friendships and new partnerships, to taking international trips around the world with my family, to now starting another project that will continue to bring in more blessings and surprises. And through it all I had to TRUST. TRUST in myself, in God, in the process. It was not easy. I was tested many times, and I know that I will continue to be tested. But I could not and cannot afford to regret or doubt myself, because there is no looking back, only forward and learning the lessons through the challenges.
I have started to get used to the feeling of not knowing what the future holds, especially when I make spontaneous decisions that don’t always make logical sense. I actually, have kind of grown to embrace it.
“Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.” C. Joybell C.
So next time you find yourself in a place of worry, stress or fear, just TRUST that the decision you made was the right one, even if it’s not obvious in that moment. Because many times, it’s only when we look back that we are able to connect the dots and understand why it happened the way it happened and embrace it as a valuable life lesson.