One of the biggest challenges of my life so far was moving from New York City to Austin 2 years ago. I remember looking at my apartment crammed full of stuff and realizing I was leaving friends and community and a life I’d built for almost 8 years and that I’d made a conscious decision to pick up and change everything. The stress I felt around this move and life change was huge. I had stomach problems for months. I remember asking myself over and over if we were making the right decision, and how it would all get done. I had an acupuncturist who suggested I listen to the quiet voice within. I noticed every time I felt pangs of panic, a silent voice (a la Field of Dreams) would quietly suggest the word “Somehow”. Somehow became my mantra, and 2 years ago, Somehow, we did it.
In life, when you’re about to embark on a major life change and seek the advice of elders or those who’ve been through it before, they will sing the same tune no matter the occasion or endeavor. “You’ll figure it out” are the most key, wise, and FRUSTRATING words you can hear when feeling fear and seeking concrete advice. From the cliff, this seems untrue. Maybe true for them, yes. They figured it out. But surely you can’t. Surely you won’t find the money or the time, or lack the courage or the talent or the know how to do what they’ve done. And so fear becomes the loud voice. Shouting a resounding “No. I can’t.” and making you believe that you aren’t capable of accomplishing the dream, the task, the destiny. That voice isn’t incorrect. The truth is, you can’t do it. You won’t be able to do it. You’re a flawed human being, after all, and this is a feat you’ve never attempted. You don’t have practice, and you might fail. But then, like a guardian angel, the thing you cannot see is the glory of your Somehow.
You see, Somehow doesn’t know fear. Because Somehow doesn’t know or worry for the future. Somehow is both the surrender to not knowing and the confidence of knowing, simultaneously. Somehow is the only thing that will get you where you’re going, especially when you know you can’t, or you’re too afraid to try. Somehow will do it for you.
Whether it’s a decision to go back to school, get a better job, have or try for a baby, move to another town, take the vacation of a lifetime, fall in love, get married, Somehow is the only thing you’ll need. “Don’t worry about the money.” people will say. Go ahead, doubt them. “You’ll be fine.” Your loved ones will attempt to assure you. “You guys will figure it out” your friends promise. And the Facebook memes with backdrops of sunsets will taunt you with overly optimistic, trite phrases like “Leap, and the net will appear.” You should go ahead and just call bullshit. Because it’s totally fine if you don’t buy it. You can doubt it with every fiber of your being. But if you find your Somehow, and you let Somehow drive. Somehow, you’ll get there. And you’ll look back and wonder how the hell you did it. And the only answer will be “Somehow.”
You’ll learn to ask for help. You’ll learn to put one foot in front of the other. You’ll learn to accept the money, or the favor, or the criticism. You’ll learn to lean on others, and you’ll learn to cry and smile at the same time. You’ll notice the net does appear, and then sometimes it doesn’t. But then, maybe you learn to fly. Perhaps you learn instead the value of falling, and discover your ability to climb. Somehow is the greatest teacher. For all the Somehow inside me, I’m eternally grateful, as well as the Somehow that others have gifted me over the years. For all the love, money, advice, and support that a community can give, the wisdom of not knowing has guided me the most. In these times of needing and receiving support from others, I find myself humbled by my fortune, and I wonder how I will ever pay it back- actually, karmically, in all the ways.
The voice simply answers, “Somehow.”