I’ve been contemplating all the ways a person can make a life.  And, how so many of those scenarios can seem so right to an outsider, but feel so wrong to the person living the life.

I have been feeling off center the last few weeks—months even, if I’m being really honest—and it’s clear I need to make some changes.  For a person used to change and changing, this feels uncharacteristically unsettling.  Perhaps because this time around, I’m not just going with the flow and changing with circumstances, but looking at a life of my dreams.  For the first time, I’m looking at what I want—what I really, really, really want, deep in the core of my soul—which is not as easy as it sounds.

Following your heart isn’t easy when you can’t hear what it really wants.

Someone recently said to me that you get to choose the people and things and circumstances that are in your life.  This is a simple concept, but it made me think.  How much of what’s currently in my life chose me, rather than the other way around?  Do I really get to design my life?

Maybe it’s time to try.

This week a friend of mine invited me, along with a group of mutual friends, to an event at an ice skating rink in Central Park.  Though I grew up roller skating, I’d never been ice skating before.  (Cold weather and icy conditions are not my thing.)  But, I’m doing my best to say yes to new experiences these days.

Once I arrived at the rink, I was trepidatious about actually skating.  I’m saying yes to new experiences, but that doesn’t mean I jump in head first.  Cautious by nature, I usually have to study something before I try it, suss it out to get my bearings.

My friend wasn’t having it.  She went into coach mode, reassuring me that she’d taught others how to skate, and they flourished.

So I said, okay.

As I took my first (very tentative) strokes, she held my hand.  As I held on for dear life to the wall while I crawled along the rink, she held my hand.  When I needed a break and stopped at the rink’s edge, she held my hand.  And when I felt confident enough to try it again, she held my hand.  As I got better and started taking more assertive strides, she pulled me farther away from the wall, telling me it was okay to leave behind its safety—all the while, holding my hand.

As I set about redesigning my life, this reminds me of all the times I embarked on a new journey—and felt completely on my own.

Maybe throughout the difficult times in our lives, all we really need is someone to hold our hand and be with us throughout the scary parts.  To say, no matter what happens, even if you fall, I got you.  I got you.  Those words are like magic. Maybe they are the salvation through the jungle of uncertainty.

When you feel unsure, unsettled and unsteady this week, I hope you find support and an open hand to hold.

xo, with goodness and grace.