(Esmerelda is a fictitious name selected by the person who submitted this story so she remain anonymous.)
When I was 19, I married my high school boyfriend. At the time, it seemed like a wonderful idea even though my parents and his parents were a little trepidatious because we were so young. That decision was made out of what seemed like the obvious thing to do. I don’t remember any debate or internal voices.
Life got more complex over the next few years.
Fast forward to me at 28. We had separated once before at that point and it was happening again. We were not meant to be married and both of us had known it for many years. Whatever inner voice I had, I had smothered repeatedly in hopes that I could continue on my current path without having to go through any major upheaval even if I knew eventually it was coming.
When it did finally come and there was no way to get away from it, I more or less froze up. At the time, I was working very part time. I had some savings, but was afraid to get an apartment on my own in case I couldn’t pay my own rent. I was afraid to change everything I knew. I was afraid I would lose a lot of people by divorcing and separating from a family I had been a part of since I was in my teens. I was afraid of just about everything. Still at this point, if there was an inner voice, I couldn’t hear it. I curled up on the couch and went dormant for a bit (actually, I got mono so I didn’t have much of a choice).
My then husband was moving along anyway. He had a new girlfriend already and rather than getting mad at him, I was still just feeling more broken down and unable to make a change or move on. Things were getting to the point where I would have to make a decision, a series of decisions, about how to 1) Move, 2) Work and 3) Get over it.
The first step in the process was getting away. At first, I did not want to leave town, but then I decided to anyway. At that point, I began to take on a philosophy of doing the opposite of what my instincts told me to do. My instincts had led me into a situation where I knew I had been unhappy and did nothing about it for 10 years. So to hell with my instincts for a bit. Someone told me once that sometimes you have to let the universe hold you and so I did. I decided to take on a policy of saying yes to anything that would change me and have faith that what came my way was better for me than what I had.
Strangely, not much of what happened to me next had to do with my own decisions other than saying yes. I had been writing freelance for a website and was offered a full time job without even asking for it. I was offered a cheap place to live with someone I knew. I went to visit my mom and step dad and ended up being given a free vehicle (I needed one). Later, I went back to visit them so I could drive my free truck home and brought a friend along with me.
This friend asked me to drive through her home town on the way back, to which I said yes. She also decided on the drive up that she was going to fix me up with her cousin. Her cousin lived 800 miles away from me and I had never met him, but I told her to go for it. That decision came from a literal voice in my head that said “yes.” Her cousin and I met. We soon began to talk regularly on the phone, over email and visit each other. This last summer he moved to my area and we now live together.
In conclusion, I think we often make decisions based on fear or what seems like the most practical thing to do, but really we know what we often should do. We sometimes don’t want to do it or are afraid to do it, but if you can get rid of those feelings and get to the core of what you know is good for you, the world really does hold you and shuffle you along a path that will lead you to better and happier things.