“This isn’t a dress rehearsal. This is the performance and you only get one” – Father Reynold, Holy Trinity Catholic Church
The biggest question I have received from people since we made this decision to move was how we were able to do it. Were we scared? Any concerns? Perhaps we have made it look too easy. Big risk takers who have no problem jumping off the cliff into something new. And certainly that is not the case. Let me explain.
I am a scaredy cat. A legit scaredy cat. I have grown up with way too many fears to count. This hasn’t stopped me from making incredibly rash decisions that may or may not have been good ones (we will throw most of college into that one), but it certainly has held me back at times.
And then at 31 my fear and anxiety hit an all time high and panic attacks began to set in. When Loren would travel I couldn’t make it through the night without having a panic attack and I would get incredibly anxious when he would let me know his travel schedule for the next week. It was not normal. I started going to therapy (and still do! I have the best therapist in Newport Beach if anyone needs one) and began to take a look at my fears and anxiety from a different perspective. Not only in what they did to me physically and emotionally but also from a spiritual perspective. What I realized is that I was trying to control EVERYTHING. My marriage, my children, my career. I thought I was in charge and no human can sustain that over a lifetime. It is exhausting and breaks you down over time. So I finally started working on my faith and began learning to give my fears to God.
Oh how that changed things. I no longer saw my fears as something to hide from but something to face, knowing that they were most likely unwarranted and, when depending on God for strength, I could handle. I also stopped trying to control things and simply focused on controlling how I lived in my life in my faith. He will take care of it.
As my quote states at the top, I have come to realize that you only get one shot at this life and I certainly don’t want to get to the end of it (whenever that will be…hopefully a long time from now) and look back and regret not chasing any dreams because of the fear I had in chasing them. It doesn’t mean that at times I won’t fail, or fall, but at least I can say I tried. I am very dependent on prayer as I do believe it provides guidance, clarity and answers so that is where my focus lies. Trusting in Him. I am fortunate that I have a husband that feels the same and together we are pushing each other to go after our dreams, that may not always seem practical from the outside but feel so very right in our heart.
Fast forwarding to right now, this means that yes, this move was a dream, but it doesn’t mean that fear hasn’t crept in numerous times throughout the process.
We have dreamed of a small school environment in a small town but what if our children don’t get along with any of the kids?
We have dreamed of living on land but what if we feel isolated?
We have dreamed of taking our careers into our own hands and doing something ourselves but what if it fails?
We have dreamed of experiencing something outside of Orange County but what if we hate it?
The common denominator in all of these questions is the “what if” and I have gotten to a point in life that you will certainly have a “what if” in most risks that you take but I definitely would rather try and find out than always wonder what could have been.
We all have different dreams. Things that we fantasize about. Ours was this move but to you, there may be something else pulling at your heart strings. I can’t tell you how to do it, or if you should, or when you should, but I can tell you that trying and failing is better than never trying at all. I can also tell you that your children are watching and one day, they will remember when you took a risk and it will shape their confidence in going after their own dreams. Does fear still dictate things with me at times? Sure. We are all human. It will always be there. It is how we handle it or grow from it that counts.
This week was an amazing one. The kids are really enjoying their school and sports teams. Loren and I finished unpacking the house and have been able to spend some quality time together in our new town. I have no idea how next week will go or what fears will creep in but I am certain in my heart that this is where we are meant to be.
Dreams vs Fears. They will always compete with each other. It truly is up to you which one will win.