I had always hated this saying.
I would imagine standing on the top of a tall building, looking down at certain death and someone behind me would say, “Go ahead. If you jump, a net will suddenly appear out of nowhere and catch you.”
Would you believe them?
I mean, how does that even make sense? You do something wildly risky and the universe just works around it to make it happen for you? No way! Because last year, I had been looking for any glimmer of a net to appear, to make itself known before I jumped and as of November 2018, I had seen nothing of the sort.
Well, Denise, that’s because you hadn’t jumped yet.
Are you with me on this one? Sometimes these clichés just make you roll your eyes and reply with an epic, “UGH. Okay, suuuuure.”
Last week I went to a Local Market Downtown. Boutique booths lined the Greenbelt with candles, jewelry and handcrafted signs that said things like “Gather” and “This kitchen is for dancing.” Whenever I’m at these things, I can’t help but think, “I could do this.” Then I spend the next week daydreaming about how awesome my booth would be and all the fun things I’d sell. I’d fill it with enamel pins and art prints and unique things that were focused on dreams and wishes and magic moments. This thought / list actually started several months ago when I started selling art prints on Etsy and now it’s quite developed.
The other day I found this amazing artist who creates custom maps of cities and I thought my booth should have a map of my town. The problem was, this artist charged quite a lot for her work and I don’t have an Oprah budget. So right away, my brain said, “You could pre-sell art prints in your community group. Find 35 people willing to pitch in $20 and when it’s done, they get a matted print. Or you could approach businesses in the area and ask if they would to pitch in $100 to have their business as a landmark on the map.” Suddenly, the map was completely attainable.
The line of thought took me by surprise because that girl with the ideas and savvy ways to make her ideas happen, that has never been me. I’ve always been the one to think of ideas and say, “That would be nice but -”
But I don’t have the money.
But I don’t have the time.
But I don’t know how to make that happen.
But – and the idea was over.
That night I was talking to Raffi and I mentioned how I had noticed that particular change in myself. That while I still had ideas, they were now paired with completely possible ways to make those ideas happen. In the moment, a new thought occurred to me and I told him, “I don’t think I had ideas like this before I met you.” Was Raffi that magical component I had been missing? He thought about it for a minute and shook his head saying, “No, you started thinking like this when you left your day job.”
All at once I knew he was right. Before I left my day job, my mind was always consumed with work. I’d constantly be worried about my numbers or my attendance record. I’d be stressed that my job was being outsourced and that I’d have to move down from the department I had worked so hard to get into. I’d be angry that my supervisors weren’t stepping up as leaders. And above all, I’d feel bitter and resentful that I had to wake up at 4:30 am to rush to a job where I felt completely out of place. I remembered afternoons of crying over my stats falling short. I remembered complete nights with Raffi where I voiced all of the injustices of corporate America. Of course I had no mental energy to invest in my own ideas.
At that moment, a voice in the back of my head whispered, “That’s the net.”
That’s how it happens.
When you let go of whatever is weighing you down, your mental energy can go towards creating your net. The net isn’t a mythical being that appears like a heroic creature on the grounds of Hogwarts right when you need it, it’s built by you.
I came across a quote from Emily Weiss’s Instagram yesterday and it fit in well with this post. It says, “If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another. The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action you experience.”
It reminded me of something my bestie said to me months ago when I was in a rough place. She said, “You will land on your feet because you don’t know any other way.”
Time and time again, I’ve seen people adapt to fill the roles they find themselves in. It’s just a thing that humans do.
When I was ten, I took a typing class and I remember searching and scanning for the J, for the O, and I remember being frustrated and I’d wonder how on Earth people typed without looking at the keyboard. Then, years later, I got a job that required me to type all day and I now type 90 words per minute.
What are some scenarios like that for you?
Maybe you never saw yourself as a mom. You’d look at other moms and wonder how they did it. Now, you’re in your thirties and you’re the best mom on the block to three adorable littles.
Maybe you didn’t understand your camera for the first year you had it. You thought manual mode was nice for some people, but impossible for you. Now you can nail a manual exposure without even thinking about it.
The decision to jump is hard. It’s scary and it seems crazy but I absolutely believe that you can fill whatever role you step into. I believe the universe will work around your decision and support you. Most importantly, I believe jumping will allow you to use that new found mental energy to create your promised net.
|Denise Karis is an Arizona photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris|
I’m currently in my first year of full time and I’ve blogged my entire journey in a monthly series called “Going Full Time.” Click here for those posts!
Thanks to Hannes Egler Via Unsplash for the photo!
Hey. Do you mind if I tell you a story? One you might not have heard. All the elements in your body were forged many many millions of years ago in the heart of a faraway star that exploded and died. That explosion scattered those elements across the desolations of deep space. After so, so many millions of years, these elements came together to form new stars and new planets. And on and on it went. The elements came together and burst apart, forming shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings. Until, eventually, they came together to make you. You are unique in the universe. There is only one of you. And there will never be another.