If someone were to ask me what the theme of 2014 was, I’d tell them without flinching, “Trust your instinct”. This is an aspect of my life that has been weakened because I’d always look to others that I felt were smarter/wiser/sharper than me to tell me how to maneuver through this life. Over the last few years, I’ve been on this hard but amazing journey of finding out who I am and what I want and what my purpose is in this lifetime…and on this journey, I’ve learned that the internal voice or nudge is the best guide I have; if it was stronger. But it’s coming along nicely. I’ll tell you two major times this year where my instincts kicked into super high gear. One was a success. The other was a failure. Let’s just get the failure out the way.
The Little Intern That Couldn’t (the failure)
Because I dedicated a whole post (go on, read it) about it, I won’t go into a whole lot of detail about it. That missed opportunity really gets to me from time to time. I look back sometimes and wish I had more confidence in myself and in my abilities. I couldn’t go past the “what if…” about all of it: quitting my job to move to New York, starting at the basic level, being critiqued by not only mentors but other interns, the next step afterwards. I just couldn’t see past my own insecurities and that became louder than my instinct to just go for it. Maybe I would’ve gone further in the internship. Maybe I would’ve been stopped at the interview. Maybe I would’ve seen the opportunity for me to be bold in other areas. I’ll never know the outcome, so I let it go. Just know that I absolutely learned the lesson
Run The World, Girl (the success)
Christmas Day was like any other Thursday for me; it just didn’t feel like a holiday. Still, I was able this year to give my family gifts (pretty awesome ones, too!) so I was more excited to see them open their gifts than me receiving one. So while I was in the midst of waiting for everyone to open their presents, I decided to go onto Twitter and my timeline just seemed to be all a buzz about going to Abu Dhabi for under $200. Curious, I went to see my favorite travel account, Travel Noire, talk about an airline having amazing fares to different places internationally. So I went in with the intention of going to Abu Dhabi, but something else caught my attention.
Immediately, my instincts started kicking in and this time, I wasn’t going to ignore it. I played with the departure and arrival time. I took their advice on which dates to book (Monday-Thursday have the best deals) and I fell on the perfect date: May 18, which is exactly 2 days before my birthday. Then I saw the price: $355. My instincts went into high gear, but I was paralyzed with fear.
OMG…are you really about to do this? It’s South Africa! You’d be going to South Africa for your birthday! But you’d be alone. And you know nothing about where you’re going. But this is could open your traveling door. Am I really about to do this?
I saw this as an opportunity that I would not pass up. I could afford the ticket, the departure date gave me plenty of time to plan and prep however I felt it to be necessary, and how dope would it be to go to SOUTH AFRICA!!! I pressed through….and bought the plane ticket. Then I looked at my itinerary: a day in Paris, then Johannesburg, then another day in Abu Dhabi on the way home (see! I still get to go to Abu Dhabi!). My instincts got me a trip to South Africa for my birthday.
Fear is natural. It’s also normal. I’ll probably never rid my life of fear…but I’ve learned that my instincts, that “gut feeling”, will always guide me in the right direction. Here’s to letting it be my compass in 2015.