Yet, there is another part of me that still tries to predict and control the outcome of my life, just in case fate or destiny somehow forgot my address or lost my cell phone number. It is that process of meddling in my own life that I have been struggling with lately. In many ways, I am at a crossroads in my life. Uncertain about the future of my job, my relationship and where I want to live.
In those times of uncertainty, it is natural to want to do something (anything) to make ourselves feel more secure. But that may not always be the right thing. So how do I know when to step back and let the universe determine my fate and when to step in and take action to direct the course of my future? It is clear that living my life requires a combination of both. It is just a matter of finding the right balance.
For example, I would not be in my yoga teacher training class unless I took the initiative and filled out an application. It was unlikely that someone would just stop me on the street and ask if I wanted to be a yoga teacher. That was an obvious case where I needed to take action. And the universe got to determine whether I was accepted.
In relationships it can be a little harder to know when to step in and when to step back. Two years ago, I was getting the hardwood floors re-finished at my house. I decided it would be a good time to get a smaller couch for my living room. Yet I was still attached to my old couch and I wasn't quite ready to let go of it yet. I decided to put it in storage until I could figure out what to do with it.
Somewhere along the way, I came up with the idea that I was going to meet the love of my life and he would need a couch for his house. Or perhaps we would move in together and put the couch down in our basement. I started referring to it as my love couch.
It was a cold day in January 2013 that the Boy and I moved the love couch into the storage unit. I remember because it started snowing as we were driving down Michigan Avenue to rent the truck. In retrospect I find it interesting that I was dating the Boy when I came up with the idea of the love couch. Clearly, I wasn't planning on him being the one to sit on that couch with me in the basement of our love nest. We broke up less than a month later.
It has been over two years since I put the love couch in storage, along with the hope of meeting the man of my dreams. A lot has changed since then.
The most recent development is that the Boy is now engaged to the marathon runner girl he started dating last summer. According to Facebook, they adopted a dog together on Valentine's Day and they were engaged a few weeks later. He and I struggled for four years to make our relationship work and with her everything fell into place in less than a year. Which proves my theory that when it is meant to be, it will be.
As for me, I did fall in love with someone who I believed was the man of my dreams. And if you would have asked me one year ago to predict the future, I would have been certain that he and I would be getting engaged and moving the love couch into his new house right about now. But our relationship had a different outcome.
Sometimes I wonder if it was fate that our relationship ended or if it was just me getting in my own way. Letting my fears and doubts overcome my feelings of love and acceptance. And allowing him do the same. I guess we will never know for sure.
It has only been recently that I realized how much of my life has been spent living in fear. I have watched in amazement as so many other people have taken the leap of faith by getting married, having another baby, getting a new puppy or quitting their job and moving to a new city. Each time, I wonder to myself "How can they just do that? What if this happens? What if that happens? What if they are miserable? How can they get out of it?"
And I have fantasized so many times about making similar changes in my life. Yet, something holds me back. Those same questions repeat over and over in my mind until I am paralyzed. Inevitably, I decide that it is safer to to nothing. While I have been clinging to my fears and holding onto beliefs that no longer serve me, everyone else has been moving on with their lives, including the Boy.
I have paid over $2000 during the past two years to store the love couch. That is more than the original cost of the couch and it is a lot of money just to hang onto a vision of how my ideal relationship is going to play out.
Maybe it is time to let go of my love couch and let the universe take charge for awhile. Hopefully I will be ready to set aside my fears, take a risk and embrace whatever comes my way. Whatever is meant to be, will be.
And if I do meet the man of my dreams, chances are we will want to pick out a new couch.