My sister and I bought a cot a year and a half ago. I had just returned from Spain and made the decision to stay in New York. My sister and I, both unemployed, shared a tiny little one-bedroom apartment as we job hunted. While sharing the bed would have made for a better sitcom, we sought a different solution after trying that out for a few nights.
And so, the cot.
We got it off of craigslist for $20 and rolled it home about one mile on the sidewalks of Brooklyn. It folds in half and is barely the length of my body (which, granted, is pretty long). It’s shockingly comfortable, though, as you kinda sink right into it’s frame and feel supported and coddled, as long as you can sleep on your back. Every night I’d move the coffee table out of the way so I could unfold my bed and sleep in the living room of our apartment, jammed between several other pieces of furniture.
I grew to love my cot and struggled to peel myself out of it every morning (partially because of that sinking-in effect). I’d fold it up, roll it off to the side, and my sister and I would go to yoga. In the afternoons we’d escape our tiny apartment for an equally tiny coffee shop where we’d drink lattes we couldn’t afford and job search on our laptops. We’d dream of the 2-bedroom apartment and the busier, stress-free days that we didn’t yet have in sight.
Last night as I sunk into this old friend, I recalled that chunk of time and the nights I lay awake thinking: What have I done?! I used to sleep on a king-size bed in a beautiful condo that I owned. What the fuck am I doing, 30 years old, on a cot in the living room of this tiny apartment?!
I was scared, and broke, and had no idea what I wanted to do or what I could do or how I’d put these pieces back together.
And honestly, I still feel that way sometimes. But as I lay awake in my cot last night I traveled back to the living room of that tiny apartment; I considered everything that’s happened in the past year and a half, all the things I didn’t know were ahead of me then, things I simply couldn’t have known.
I couldn’t have known that one thing after another would magically fall into place and I’d make it another year and a half in New York City.
I couldn’t have known that we’d move into a beautiful not 2- but 3-bedroom apartment, in the same neighborhood which we love.
I couldn’t have known that I’d find exactly the job I needed at the time, one where I’d be able to grow and learn and, most importantly, one that would allow me to create the lifestyle I wanted.
I couldn’t have known that I’d become a chick who bikes everywhere or that I’d manage to make wellness the focus of my lifestyle.
I couldn’t have known that opportunities to teach yoga would present themselves and that I’d find the confidence to grab them, eventually landing three weekly classes across two studios and two styles of yoga.
I couldn’t have known that I’d spend a week camping and kayaking around a tiny remote island in Mexico (what?!).
I couldn’t have known that I'd figure out how to balance the turmoil in my body, clearing up my acne and easing my digestive troubles.
I couldn’t have known that I’d hire a coach to help me figure out what I really want to do with myself, and muster the courage to start a business and put myself out there for everyone to see.
I couldn’t have known that I’d find a new outlet for my favorite creative work, and that people would actually want to read it; that I'd even get some pieces published in the online journals I've been following for years.
I couldn’t have known that I’d become more and more the person I want to be every day.
I couldn’t have known that I’d make my way back to my king-size bed.
I couldn’t have known any of it. All I could do was keep moving forward, one step at a time. So maybe instead of beating myself up for not being further along or not getting more done each day or not “having it all” by now, I can pause to acknowledge how far all those little steps have gotten me, and what a huge difference a year and a half can make. I can quit worrying and trying to predict the future, and just keep taking one step at a time.
I can choose to simply move forward with a little trust in myself, because based on previous experience, I do know it’s gonna be okay. I know I’m gonna do all the things I want to do, because I always have. I know that a lot can happen in the next week, the next month, the next year and a half.
And perhaps most importantly, I know that even the hard times, the times I feel scared or uncertain or totally hopeless, will someday be a fond memory, an important part of the story. Because that short blip that seemed to drag on forever, when my sister and I spent way too much time together and did a ton of yoga and searched for jobs and questioned our decisions and drank lattes and I slept on a cot – yeah, that’s one of my favorite blips of time.
What have you accomplished in the last year and a half that you couldn't have known you'd accomplish?
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