I enter the last year of my twenties this week (Friday the 13th!), and it’s so crazy to think that this is it. This next year is the last of a decade full of so many experiences, so many lessons. This year in particular dealt its fair share of lessons. One of the greatest truths revealed to me was that when you get everything you have ever wished for, it might not actually be everything you wished for. However, when you let Go and let God, the world becomes an incredibly magical, beautiful place. I was in a lull, stuck in a job that was not stimulating and a relationship that was sucking me of any positive energy that managed to survive the stress of the job. I kept trying to make changes, but every time I did I felt like I was in a pool full of thick mud that was not allowing me to step out, to step away. I prayed and I prayed, begging God to reveal what the purpose was of this season in my life that was draining every ounce of creativity and passion out of me. During my birthday last year, I cried at the thought that I did not have the white picket fence, dream husband and dream job that I worked so hard for in my twenties.
Shortly after my birthday breakdown, I received a job offer, accepted it, and was on the way to a happier place, but then declined last minute because I could not accept a job that I did not feel was one hundred percent right for me. This sent me back into even more of a lackluster daze, as I lost hope that I would ever have the courage to move forward and away from what was hurting me.
I spent the rest of the Spring and Summer faithfully trying to move my career, and rest of my life, forward. While I had incredible experiences during both seasons, there was still a lingering frustration that I was completely stalled out. None of the jobs seemed like the greatest fit for me. I was walking on the beach one day, completely desponded as I grappled with what steps I could take next, when my mom called. She sensed the impatience in my voice and said that God uses our waiting to prepare us for things that are incredible and beyond our belief. She reassured me to have faith, and keep working hard and tirelessly at finding out what the right decision was going to be for me. I prayed, begging God to give me some sign, anything, that things were going to change soon.
Three weeks later, I was driving to work, and almost crashed my car due to stabbing pains radiating all along my right side. I was able to get to the hospital just in time for a gardener to get medical attention for me. The rest is a blur, but it included a week in the hospital, two emergency surgeries and copious amounts of bedrest.
I remember not being able to pull myself up out of bed, not being able to keep any food down for weeks which resulted in a 20+ pound weight loss, and countless secondary infections that resulted from the surgeries. I remember sitting alone on my bed, watching the candlelight bouncing off of the stark white walls, and thinking that this might be it. I might not ever heal, I might not ever be able to do everything I was pushing away and was too scared to leave South Florida to pursue.
This year bred one of the most horrific, terrifying times in my entire life. It was one of the first times that my strong faith and emotions could not override the fact that my body was attacking itself. I had all of the mental power and positivity to map out novels, stay on top of work, etc., but my body refused to keep up with the pace. I was confined to my bed, with my own thoughts, for weeks. All of my plans, all of my projects, came to a complete halt. There was nothing I could do about it. It was as if God reached his hand directly into my life and said, “No, you’re doing it my way now. Stop, reflect and restart.” This was the sign I had prayed for.
I made a decision in my weakest moment, in tears, crying to my dad who had flown down to care for me, that this was not going to be the end. I decided that I was going to change jobs and pursue what I love regardless of what anyone else, including my physical body, had to say about it. My dream was to always work for a non-profit, and in a magical way I was offered a job with a non-profit that completely aligned with my heart and values. Not only was it a non-profit whose mission I was passionate about, but it also was located in NYC, a city I was trying desperately to move back to. In my darkest hour, the stars aligned.
Now, the week that I am turning yet another year older, I am happy. Not because I have the white picket fence, family, etc. I dreamt of when I was younger, but because I made the right decisions based on the cards life dealt me and trusted God who brought me to an even more beautiful place than any of my own plans could have brought me. I do not know what the next year holds, but I do know that if I let go, and let God, it will hold exactly what I need to become the greatest person I can become in this lifetime.
- Marji J. Sherman