Decisions, decisions… My friend gave her resignation at work last week. She is moving to fabulous Vegas. Her daughter lives there and since she is going to make her a grandmother soon, she doesn’t want to miss a thing. I thought it was great. When I asked her how she felt she looked at me with this sad face and said “I’m terrified”. I thought to myself why? Change should be exciting. Is the beginning of a new adventure. The next chapter in someone’s life. Change is inevitable you always hear people say, but, what if you choose change? Does it become easier to manage?
I remember being 23 and facing a simple decision that could alter my whole life. To leave or not to leave Puerto Rico to move to the United States? What would the pro’s and con’s be? On my list I included nice, silky hair in the winter, no more 85-90 degrees year round, a buffet of men to choose from and, of course, a lower unemployment rate. Very important things in life for a girl if you ask me!
I had gone in the Winter time to New Orleans to visit a friend from high school. On my last day of that vacation I started thinking, how would life be if I moved there? After discussing with my friend how wonderful it would be if I moved in with her, I went back to my parents to “get permission” to jump across the sea. My dad thought I was crazy. He said in his few words style “why do you want to leave our good home where you can enjoy homemade food, clean laundry and a warm bed?” After all, I was not required to pay a dime for my stay even though I had a full-time job, had already graduated college and had recently turned 23. It was almost as being in Heaven. How convenient!
When you know, you know. You can tell when you are ready to make a decision because you don’t give it a second thought. Your heart gives you the green light. Within a month I had resigned work, packed my bags and headed towards my new home. Before leaving, I did ask myself how life would go on for those I left behind without me and I can tell you now, 15 years later, that everyone survived. Life goes on and people adapt.
I arrived in the middle of Mardi Gras week. It was chaos. Madness. But nothing mattered. I had no worries. I was there to stay and felt truly happy about commencing my new adventure. On my first day, we were so excited to go see a parade that we decided to rush to find a spot to park downtown and left our purses locked in my friend’s car trunk so we could have both arms free to catch some beads. Throw me something mister! We yelled and yelled and by the end of the night I had collected all kinds of goodies from the floats.
We went home tired only to find that someone had forced open the car’s trunk. Our purses were gone! Did I mention what I had inside my purse? $2,000 in traveler checks, $200 in cash from my last paycheck and my credit cards. Everything was gone. I guess I had made a not so smart decision. The funny thing is that I was not upset at all! It felt so right – my decision of moving to New Orleans- that this tiny incident was just a small stone I needed to jump. You should have seen me at 2AM calling all credit cards to cancel them, trying to arrange to get traveler check replacements and doing it all as if I was just making dinner reservations. My friend thought I was crazy. She pretty much needed me to cry to make sure I was okay.
I knew everything would work out just fine. After all, my heart had given me the green light to do this change. I was so ecstatic to have started my new life that nothing else mattered. I kept this unimportant event a secret to this day. My overprotective mother still doesn’t know what happened to me on that first night. The only annoying part about the robbery was the fact that I had to go to get my traveler checks replaced and they only had them in $20 denominations so I had to sign my name on them only TWO HUNDRED TIMES.
Now that I’m older and I have given my life to Christ, when I face changes or challenges in my life, I have to remind myself that I am “not the boss of me” as I thought I was back then when I was 23. I do need to count on God to show me the way and help me make decisions. Even the small ones, he wants me to let him get involved. After all, his plan for me is just a perfect one and I need to know and trust that everything will work out in the end as long as I am giving him the lead.
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8