Each of us has an inner voice that lets us know what we are supposed to do next. An inner wisdom that guides us.
I don’t mean, like, moment by moment, although maybe that too. Eat something. Go to work. Take some deep breaths. Go to the bathroom. These aren’t big decisions, they are mostly the things we need to do to survive each day, and we are guided through these activities by the natural rhythms of our human needs.
What I am talking about is the bigger next. This is the voice that tells you what college to go to. It tells you when to pursue a relationship, and when to end it. It tells you when to take a job, when to turn down a job, and when it’s time to move on. It tells you when it’s time to look for a new apartment, or a new city. To have a baby. To start a business.
Some people attribute this inner voice, this inner guidance, to God. I won't attempt to define or attribute or categorize except to say, I think this voice exists. I call it a voice only in name, because it doesn’t always speak in words. Sometimes it’s a vision. Many times, a feeling. Or something even less identifiable than that. A thought that pops into your head one day and fits in so well it's almost like it has been there all along, like the friend you just met but can't imagine your life without. Somehow, your inner voice communicates what you need to do. Not always very specifically. Or even with a well-defined timeline. It just points you in a certain direction.
Now I know there are very logical people out there who will argue that this inner voice is actually a reflection of basic facts, simple realities. You choose your college based on what school did effective recruitment, that you applied and were accepted to, could afford, and had parental or other support for your attending.
I would argue that, while there is some truth to this, and that the inner voice and the basic facts often point in similar directions, or toward similar nexts, the inner guide is not always tied to what might seem to make the most logical sense. In fact, quite the reverse. What our inner voice tells us to do frequently seems to make no sense at all. It is only after we listen and follow and see where we are being led, that the pieces fall into better place and we gain the understanding of why we had to go there.
The voice doesn’t always guarantee a certain outcome. Sometimes you are led somewhere to fail miserably, or what we would typically consider failure. I would say, that failure was what you were supposed to experience. Or maybe you are told to go one place, start putting the wheels in motion, and wind up someplace completely different. It wasn’t that you were guided incorrectly. There was just a road closing with a detour and alternate route, so you had to start off going in a less obvious direction, before winding up in the correct place, even though you didn’t know in the beginning of the trip that there was where you were ultimately going.
I'm going to New York City.
I'm not exactly how, or exactly when, or to do what, specifically, but I'm going. It's something I have been told for a long time by my inner voice, by my inner guidance. It's always seemed to be somewhat of a far off inclination, but it's feeling more and more like a reality in the short term. I have spoken to a few people about it, and they have reminded me that it's not a new concept. It's something I have been talking about for a long time.
If I think far enough back, I have been thinking about moving to New York City since I was a little girl and auditioned for Little Cosette on Broadway, which, had I gotten the role, would have landed me there. But I didn't. And then when I was applying to college I wanted to go to New York City, but I didn't, and then after college I planned to move to New York City with a few of my theater friends, but I didn't, and then years after that I revisited the option of moving to New York City for grad school, but I didn't. There were good reasons each time I didn't, of course, and I don't regret anything.
When I finally left Albany, as I always believed I would, I came to DC instead. DC presented itself in a glorious burst of opportunity, and for a while I believed that perhaps the inclination towards New York City was just the road to DC. Now I realize that DC has been the preparation and the confirmation. I've learned more, perhaps even lived more, in a year of being here than I have in many previous years combined. But being here has not satiated my heart's longing for New York, as I thought it might. It has strengthened it, left me in a place where I have no other choice but to acknowledge it, and follow where I am being guided.
And now that I am blogging it, it must be so!