Taking Steps is Easy, Standing Still is Hard

This week marks a month since I graduated, settled back in Los Angeles,  and started working full-time. I can’t believe how quickly time has passed; It still feels like it was yesterday when I was standing with my peers decked out in violet at Yankee Stadium saying farewell to the glory days of undergrad. Everything was such a blur. I got on a flight to California the morning after I graduated with no concrete plans, not even knowing if I would make it past security with how much luggage I was trying to pass through as a “carry on” #hoarderproblems. I didn’t even have time to just settle in the fact that I would be leaving New York with no plans to return (at least for a while). I genuinely thought I wouldn’t care to leave the city. I thought I would be completely content with living the rest of my life in Los Angeles. I would never have to squish my little self in a subway during rush hour, crave legit Mexican street tacos, and, above all, I’d never have to experience another brutal single digit winter. It was silly to think that I would be able to easily let go of a place that had become such a significant part of my life. The past month has been full of nostalgia and the overwhelming desire to have just one more year in New York. I have been missing the life I created there, the church I call home, and the amazing people who so powerfully influenced me and encouraged my growth.  I was wallowing in my inability to be present in my current circumstances and to let go.

Coming back to Los Angeles was always the plan. I knew immediately after the first winter I experienced in freshman year that I would ship myself back to the west coast after four years. Moving cross country after establishing a substantial amount of time in one place is difficult, but, in this one month, everything panned out for me. I was able to secure a place within my budget, start a new job I really enjoy, lease my first car, and have my home church start a branch here in LA. Everything I had worried about was taken care of seamlessly. Despite the fact I had no guarantees, I took a leap of faith in coming out here, and everything happened to fall into place. I am fully equipped with all the tools that I would need to live here, but why was I feeling so unsettled, and why was I constantly second guessing my decisions? When I was voicing my reservations and unhappiness to one of my dearest friends, she shared something that resonated with me: “Taking steps is easy, standing still is hard”. It is so concise, simple, and happens to be a quote from the Orange is the New Black, but it was perfectly what I needed to hear. She was right. Making the steps to come out to LA seemed like the difficult part because of how much had to be invested in the move, but that wasn’t the biggest the challenge. The challenge lied in the ability to stand still in the decisions I made, and the path God had paved for me. When I was in New York, I missed LA and was desperate to leave. Now that I am in LA, I miss New York and have the urge to go back. Regardless of where I’m at, there are going to be moments where I feel lost, insecure, unhappy, but I can’t constantly take steps in different directions only because it gets tough. I always thought that keeping myself busy and making changes was what defined a full and productive life. However, that mentality always exhausted me and left me thinking okay, so…now what? Now I’m starting to understand why. God is teaching me the importance of standing still and allowing His plan for this season of my life to develop. The location I settle will not be what determines my growth or what prevents me from thriving. I can make the choice to be still and know that this is just the beginning of something incredible, or I can continue to wander aimlessly searching for a perfect life only to be disappointed. I want to challenge myself to always appreciate what I have in the present moment, and to believe I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.

“Your body is just the ship, your soul is the passenger”.

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