One autumn morning, 1999…
“Ummm, financial aid, I guess.”
I know: articulate, eloquent, well thought out… I’m a regular Alan Rickman. It’s the kind of statement entire careers are built around. /sarcasm
I had recently graduated college, was newly wed and my spouse had just landed a job at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. So I figured I’d enter the workforce through the U of M temp pool. I had scored exceptionally well on the office skills tests, received high praises for a temporary receptionist position that had just ended and I had first pick of three new temp jobs. The question was, “Would you like to work in this office, that office, or the financial aid office?”
The rest of my history in financial aid is boring, so I’ll spare you the details. My point is: that’s all it took. No careful consideration of my career path, no educated decision making based on growth potential, nothing. Just a completely arbitrary stab in the dark. I can’t even call it a choice, because what did I choose, really? Eeny meeny miny moe would have been more methodical.
I’m sure my decision took no longer than five seconds. Yet, years later, here I am working in financial aid with a combined 6+ years under my belt. For a while in the middle, I was a stay-at-home dad and part-time music therapist (my chosen field), but I eventually came back to financial aid because of the predictable hours, salary and benefits.
Five seconds was all it took to create an outline that would help shape years of my life: knowledge I’ve gained, friends I’ve made in colleagues, conferences I’ve traveled to… Five. Seconds.
Of course, my experiences and thoughts leading up to that moment probably played some part in my decision. Every past thought leads to my current place in the world. Still, all it took was five measly seconds. So why on earth do I spend so many hours/days/years fretting over certain other decisions? How many personality profile questionnaires and career aptitude tests do I have to take before I finally decide that…
Where I am at any given moment is where I’m meant to be.
Faith. Contentedness. Acceptance. Gratitude.
When I’m feeling uncertain about my path in life, I try to remember to trust the process. I remind myself to have faith. I find contentment in being where I am right now by accepting the way things are. I thank the Universe for the experiences that led me here.
I’ve gotten a little out of practice with all the transition over the past two years (divorce, new job, new house, new family responsibilities), but I’ve found that when I do these things–especially when I appreciate–life.gets.easy. And good. So good. When I remember to have faith, it’s like stones suddenly and magically appear beneath my feet as I step out onto the water, and I know with each step that the next step I take will not go unsupported.
So take a few steps of faith. Go ahead and spend only five seconds on a few decisions. Walk out onto the water and expect the stones to be there, then revel in your absolute confidence that “there’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…
In what ways have you taken a step of faith or made a split second decision that had a significant impact on your life? Comment below. 🙂 And don’t forget to join the conversation on the Facebook page or Twitter.