0 comments / Posted on by Erin Gates

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My brain is too full of real life to ponder the fabulousness of a armchair today, so I hope you don’t mind if I take this chance to just brain dump on you.  This has been a crazy month and it just was made a million times more insane by the fact that we plan to accept an offer on our condo tonight-an offer that if it comes to fruition will mean I have to find a place to live by April 15th.  True to form, this massive change has caused me to panic.  Historically I’ve never been good with risk and change, the mere thought of unplanned and unexpected activity practically giving me hives.  I’ve lead a careful life, every move thought over a hundred times and then pondered some more before ever taking action.  I’ve made decisions because others important to me told me they were the right decisions. I’ve stayed in bad relationships, bad jobs and bad situations longer than tolerable simply because the idea of change paralyzed me so.  But in the past two years I’ve slowly been unraveling that cloak of cautiousness by tugging on each tightly woven thread of security with new found courage. It’s been both immensely gratifying and totally scary at the same time- and this moment right now might be the most intense yet.

We bought this condo on impulse, which of course was hard for me. But I fell in love with it and the life that could fill it’s walls, and as we all know real estate needs to be a  mix of emotion and smarts, not 110% heart.  I tend to be the type who falls in love every day, full of emotion and passion but sometimes a bit lacking in balance. So we signed away on this home with a future life full of babies and wild financial success in mind. How things have changed.  While financially we are pretty stable and my business has had unexpected and wild success, the baby question remains exactly that- a question.  Empty guest bedrooms that echo of “you’re 30, you should have a baby” leave me rattled because frankly, I don’t want one right now.  I want one, someday in the not too distant future, but right now I’m not ready.  And selling this condo and moving into a smaller rental makes that decision audible to the whole world, which feels a bit like raising a white flag and surrendering my perfectly timed plan of “married by 26 (check), baby by 30 (…)” I know, I have time, I’m only 30, but I can’t help but feel I’m letting people down by not feeling the hormonal frenzy of motherhood pulsing through my veins.  Instead I feel the burning wish to travel, write, explore, work hard and take the time to straighten out exactly what it is I want and need, as selfish as that may be.   I like to think by turning keen focus inward on myself it will make me a better mother someday down the road.

But it does feel a bit like taking two steps backward.  Surrendering the baby plan and going from owning to renting- even though I know it’s only temporary until we find a house to renovate and live in for a very long time (no more of this buy and sell in under three years business we’ve been doing)- feels a bit like trying to switch from drive to reverse while still moving.  Of course after wanting nothing more than to sell, now that it might have happened, I walk around these rooms thinking about how lovely it is, how the light filters through the windows just right and how much I’ll miss it instead of recalling that burning need to move on I felt so keenly not two weeks ago. Classic “me”. I need to instead focus on this as an adventure, something I have not had enough of in my thirty years.  The ability to move into the city and experience life full of convenience and bustling energy.  A chance to breathe, think and be without the weight of a mortgage.  Freedom, in a way, to know that I can do whatever I want next without being tied down. There is so much fullness to my life right now- opening an office, exciting business ventures developing , wonderful new friends to enjoy, trips to plan, moving…. possibilities seem to crowd each morning I wake up and it’s both terrifying and delightful at the same time.  It’s not a time to make concrete decisions, it’s a time to explore, investigate and touch, taste and feel everything I can so that when I am ready to settle down a bit more and dig in with solid roots I will be comforted and content with the experiences I have had.  But that doesn’t mean that in this moment, as my life begins to change dramatically, I am not sitting here scared as hell.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t get totally frustrated with my inner monologue and would kindly tell it to shut up if I could. It also doesn’t mean that sometimes I wish I wanted something simpler, easier and typical. But I don’t.

I’ve been reading a lot of Paulo Coelho quotes recently, all of which sing to me on a huge level, so I figured I’d close by sharing them, hoping that if even only two of you are feeling the way I am it’ll give you a little courage to continue questioning everything:

“Pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks. Perhaps this person will never be disappointed or disillusioned; perhaps she won’t suffer the way people do when they have a dream to follow. But when the person looks back-she will hear her heart”

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”

“You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.”

“Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because I didn’t have the courage to say “yes” to life?”

Thanks for listening,



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