I moved. You guys. I left the house I bought in 2013 that inspired dozens of blog posts, angry columns, one ill-advised DIY blog (remember the Starter Home Diaries, ya'll?), and the aforementioned book. (Okay, last time I mention the book, I promise.) It was a huge, expensive, under-the deadline kind of maneuver, but one I really wanted, which is why today I wanted to talk about leaps of faith.
Have I really not done any personal writing since June? Yeesh. I gotta tell ya, it feels good to get back to writing again. It feels good to feel like I'm talking to you guys instead of writing about closing costs and ways you might get screwed over during the home buying process. (Again, another shameless plug for my new book.)
The original title of this post was going to be ‘The Girl Who Cried House'
…..because I feel like I've talked/hinted at/wished to move out of that place so many times and it always fell apart or fell through (like in this post when I tried to sell my home last fall) and it often felt like it was NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.
My plans for moving out fell through so many times (I think the total was five before everything became official) that I began to just…resign myself to living there. It was easy. It was cheap.
…But it wasn't really what I wanted or how I envisioned ‘my best life.'
And how can I write and tell others to live their best lives (financially and otherwise) when I wasn't really doing it for myself?
I stayed because I let fear do the talking.
- You can't work for yourself and pay rent on an apartment.
- Being a landlord is stressful and terrible.
- You'll be just as unhappy somewhere else – the problem isn't your surroundings, it's YOU.
It was this fear that enabled me to quit anytime the road to getting what I really wanted (moving out of that house) got rocky.
I was Settling…
I've almost rented my house twice this past Spring/Summer. TWICE. Like, had people come look and talk about signing paperwork etc. and then lose interest.
I was in one of those phases of “well, I guess I'll just stay here…” when one of my neighbors recommended my house to someone even though I wasn't actively trying to rent. They came by and looked at the place and seemed super interested; I allowed myself to get hopeful and excited again. It seemed like it was really going to happen this time!
….And then it fell through
…..and as usual, I began to get frustrated again.
But then I sat down to work one day at my desk and saw the vision board I made with my female entrepreneur networking group back in January. It looks like this.
(I've since covered up all the romance-related wishes with hard metrics and aspirations for my business. #Bossbitch ya'll.)
When you look at it – what's the thing that stands out the most? That big, colorful picture near the bottom that says FRESH START.
Stay True to Your Vision
Even back in January, when I was still reeling from the failure and exhausted feeling of being under contract three different times and still not being able to move, my heart and gut knew I wanted (needed) a fresh start.
Why else would I have carefully edited down all those magazine cutouts to that picture and put it up on MY vision board of what I wanted for the whole year?
Vision boards are so, so powerful. I recommend visioning exercises in this piece about debt payoff, but they also work in your real non-finance life. They're powerful because they serve as a clear, visual reminder of what's important.
Because sometimes in the day-to-day things can get so chaotic that we forget what we really want. I damn near forgot too.
Looking at the vision board the day after the first family of renters backed out, seeing that little cut out… I knew I couldn't give up. A fresh start would make me happy. I'd been pondering on it for so long; It was finally time for me to get cracking and move on.
But I couldn't just divine it into existence. I had to go out and get it.
Don't Let Fear Do the Decision Making
With a renewed sense of purpose, I got on Facebook and started posting in neighborhood groups about my available home for rent. I held an open house and let scary internet randos come in and poke around. I had a potential lease drawn up.
Rather quickly, another fantastic neighbor friend of mine recommended friends of her's she knew through church. The only caveat? It was August 17th and they wanted the house on September 1st.
Things came together quickly, but before they handed over the deposit and signed the papers, I started to get cold feet and a nagging sense of doubt.
- What if it falls through again?
- What if this is a mistake?
- It's so much to coordinate in such a short amount of time, is all this stress really worth it?
Yeah, you guessed it. My old buddy fear was back.
- What if they irreparably mess up my house?
- What if they move in and never pay me?
- What about all those landlord horror stories on the internet?
I mean, yeah some of those concerns are valid. But I made a promise to myself a long time ago that I would never let Fear (capital “F” fear…) make a decision for me. You shouldn't either. Decisions made from fear almost always fall apart.
I faced similar emotions when I was deciding whether or not to move from my hometown to New York City, or to leave my corporate job and work for myself. Sure, there were lots of struggles and hard times involved in those choices at first, but I also think they worked out beautifully and made my life a whole heck of a lot better. Anything truly worthy of being in your life will take a little hard work from time to time.
Past and present: where would I be if I let my own Fear “talk me out of” doing the things I had my heart set on?
How to Take a Leap of Faith (and Never Look Back)
I think when you fully commit to a big leap of faith – really commit and spend your time making it happen instead of sitting around being all wishy washy with your feelings – that there are too many details to coordinate in making your leap a reality that you don't have time to look back on what you're doing.
Once the train leaves the station on a leap of faith, you kinda have to just go. And that's the beauty of it. Fully committing keeps you too busy to be afraid.
I had ten days (TEN!) to find a new place to live, downsize from a 2000 square feet into 700, move my stuff, and make the house as perfect as I could for the new tenants. Did I mention at this time I was also busy with things I'd planned months prior like launching a product and closing a show?
Yeah, it was a crazy time, but taking it on was a no-brainer. My vision board fresh start depended on it.
Relish in Landing on The Other Side
When you leap, you're leaping TOWARD something on the other side. There's always another side. Ask yourself, “What's the worst that can happen?” So, when you land on the side you want to be on, don't look back. Instead, take a moment to enjoy this big win. Celebrating wins and rewarding ourselves is so, so important to our own well being.
It was home to me during some of the most tumultuous moments of my life. I weathered far too many bad breakups at that address. Learned how to fully “adult.” Buried my favorite dog in the back corner of the yard.
But when I left, I didn't feel an ounce of sadness or regret and I doubt I will.
Because you see, when your heart is fully ready and working toward making your dream a reality, you really don't have time for anything else.