Last June I was reading Wild on my condo balcony. My health and fitness hobby was growing into what could easily become a career. My mind was searching for which direction I would go. Would I continue to teach in a local school district one more year or would I knowingly give up a steady paycheck because deep down I had faith and a feeling this will work? Do I have enough courage to make it work when the feeling has left me?
In my deliberation, I never once thought teaching was inferior, though if I was honest with myself and everyone else, teaching in the U.S. in a public school was on my list of “nevers.” I did not want to become a teacher, especially not an elementary school teacher. What happened though is, I really wanted to move to Nashville and it was something I could do.
Often we make choices based on what we think we can do instead of aiming for what is nearly impossible (and what we would clearly need God’s help in achieving).
So in weighing both of my options, I only had one true choice. Continue to dole out advice I was hypocritically to terrified to exercise in my own life, or fall in love with the fear knowing my dependency on faith would multiply.
After a few, long, deep breaths and uplifting conversations with Nigel, I made the phone call. I said no, and thank you, to an opportunity. A really good, amazing, fantastic opportunity, because when I evaluated my motivation – money was at the core. I started teaching to get to Nashville. I was still teaching because even though teachers are not paid a great deal of it, money is involved, and it comes steadily.
I knew this is what I needed to do. I knew in my heart when I was moved to tears at the bravery and audacity of this woman who decided to write an honest story about her experience in coming home and embracing who she is. Her account paired with the notion in The Compound Effect about doing things in a big way and going for the shock factor over what is comfortable, made up my mind.
I wasn’t sure what it would look like, but knew, this is how I wanted my story to read:
she had a chance to live her life and she took it
Now, six months later, the choice is still scary. I still doubt. I still question myself and my crazy. It would be so practical to give up and move on; I’m doing what I do well, but am I doing it well enough?
This morning I spent some time reading Love Does by Bob Goff. This was gifted to me by a new friend who I don’t even truly know, but the internet and life work that way.
Aside from the heart and humor within each story Bob tells, he also continues to remind me dreaming in an enormous way is important. Having faith because it’s unlikely and unpractical and outrageous, is important and even necessary.
Bob has used the adjective “audacious,” nearly ten times in his book. Of course anyone is welcome to use any word they prefer, and still because he keeps using that word of all words, I know to hang on. I know to keep going, keep pushing, because nothing worth doing is easy (it’s what they say, right?) And because I never want to leave this life a little short of what I could have been.
When I look at who inspires me, I see the relentless, passionate few, who no matter what – never freaking give up. And in doing so they arrive where they are headed. They embody audacity and true faith.
Living our day to day naturally dims this drive. We all become very comfortable. Life is convenient, even easy mostly. So I don’t expect you to fully understand what I’m saying. Because when I’m in the routine, driving to and from work, tired, only slightly passionate, I forget too. However, in these moments when I take one second and let some truth touch my soul – I remember. I was meant for more, I can feel it. You were too. Whatever it looks like for you, I’m not sure. But what I do know is you should always do a “soul check.” Ask yourself questions regularly. Reflect on who you are and who you want to be and listen to what’s inside of you. At your core you always know which path to follow.
Be freaking audacious. In your actions, your love, your life. Every day, forever. Amen.