Falling Off the Map + A Lesson in Trusting Your Passion

What does it feel like when you get lost on a road trip? I imagine it feels a lot like how I did when I fell off the map recently. By that I mean, I have a terribly vulnerable admission: I lost faith in my passion. I lost faith in myself.

The “map” I’m referring to is the path I believe has been divinely created for me to live my fullest life AKA my destiny. Now I realize that some people think “destiny” is a hoax, but I believe that when you find a way to bring all of your passions together, help yourself, help others, and create a career ideal to your personality, there’s only one word for that–destiny.

If all of those factors–passion, skill, kindness, + career opportunity–were all so perfectly built into one thing that filled me with this much joy, how could I ever fall off the map? Oh, if only it were that easy! The answer is simple.

Fear.

Ugh, what an ugly word. Who doesn’t get afraid of leaving their comfort zone? There’s always something that scares us and challenges our faith in ourselves and our abilities. For me, it’s the fear of failure, the fear of not making enough money, and the fear of not acquiring stability that will reward me with health insurance and a home.

In a state of fear, (which, fair warning, is never a productive state) I applied for a part-time job at Starbucks to provide myself with the peace of mind that I’d always have stable hours + income from work, and health insurance + benefits. It was great! It was also terrible.

The illusion that fear painted for me was that I didn’t have enough + I would never be enough on my own. During my first week, a few funny things happened:

  1. The girl who trained me is also a writer and was so curious about how it works becoming a freelancer and published author. Our conversation turned into me coaching and encouraging her to pursue writing as much as possible … I was basically saying what I wanted to tell myself: Trust in your gifts.
  2. My mentor said a few wise words to me. She warned me about burn out, fear, and the message I was sending out to myself and others.
  3. Relephant Matters received more opportunities in that first week at Starbucks than it had ever before. Unfortunately, because I was turning my back on it for 25 hours a week playing barista, I kind of missed the potential opportunities. (I see them as signs, and trust they will come back around, though.)
  4. I started getting really sick.

That last one is the most interesting of all.

My body reacted to this choice to put my happiness and wellness on the back-burner because of fear in a way that I still can’t even explain. It started with my eyes getting red and not being able to put my contacts in. The next week, I had moments where my eyes hurt so bad they would tear up and burn. By the end of that next week, I couldn’t even drive the pain was so excruciating. These symptoms came and went for the six weeks I was at Starbucks. I didn’t get many answers from my doctor, but he did suspect that the issue was migraines without the headaches. I know it had much to do with stress, the food I was eating, and the lack of time for self-care.

Starbucks is an amazing company. They plant trees in honor of the paper bags they give to customers. They take care of their employees SO well. They make great coffee. I have to emphasize that the issue wasn’t the job. The issue was with my fear that I would fail Relephant Matters because I wasn’t smart enough, popular enough, rich enough, able enough to change the world, whatever. There are so many things wrong with that thought process that I’m not sure where to start and I’d like to stop dwelling on them and begin forgiving.

It took some big breaths, serious signs, and a whole lot of faith, but I put in my notice about 3 weeks in. I began feeling lighter and looking forward to this newfound strength that grew from this test on my determination. My Magical Monday Mantra is now, “You are a child of the universe,” and “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.” These reminders have been there to snowplow the slushy, muddied doubts in my mind lately. I fell off the map, recently, and I’m forgiving myself for it and recognizing the lessons.

No matter how deeply I am drawn to my destiny, external factors and fears will always try to push me off the side of the road. I’m getting back on track much quicker these days, though. And I’ll continue to release fear better and better over time because of this experience.

There is magic surrounding me the more I believe in this vision and trust in its adventures.

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There is magic surrounding you too if you’re brave enough to believe in it.

Trust.

With Love + Gratitude,

Katie

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