After three long years of being based in New York for work, the city finally convinced me to give it a full time whirl, and, like a handsome date, I gave into its allure. Circumstances presented themselves in a way only God could weave together. I had every reason to hem and haw my way through this decision (my unsettled lifestyle lends to my indecisiveness), but I felt God gave me this one.
Having little time to gather myself for my move (mostly from the procrastination that ensued), decisions and packing happened in a whirlwind leaving my close friends and family in my cluttered moving debacle wake.* In typical me fashion, I had about a gazillion errands and chores needing completion. My move would involve finally gathering the random clothes, accessories, and furniture residing in a storage unit in Nashville, collecting my belongings (that had vomited all over my parent’s house), and finally cutting back on those frappes I’ve mentioned in previous posts (it’s become a slight addiction, what can I say?). Like Kathy Griffin and her d-lister fame, I’ve been halfway successful at each endeavor. Except those darn frappes (whip cream, caramel sauce, espresso all blended together in creamy goodness, I mean, c’mon).
“But, It Will Be Easy” She Said
The keyword here is halfway. My brilliant ideas started with me coaxing my mother into driving three hours from Knoxville to Nashville to pick me up (yes, I was quite surprised myself when she begrudgingly agreed), hit my storage unit, pack my crap, and drive back to my folk’s place all in the same evening. Like a ginormous freight truck barreling towards a deer standing in the middle of the road, my practicality is often left with that deer in the headlights look when my ambition takes the driver seat.
This particular time my objective caused me to completely disregard the fact I started work at 5:45 am earlier in the day. After meeting my mother at the airport in Nashville, we started the unloading process. Shortly after 11pm with a three hour drive still taunting us, we quickly realized no amount of caffeine could compete with our fatigue. A couch, dresser, coffee table, and bookcase I planned to sell are still sitting in a storage unit in Nashville where we hastily left them (any takers?!). Move – 1, Chelsey – 0.
My next ingenious idea was to get my automobile ready for the big day by replacing a few older parts. I got a price quote and left my baby in good hands making sure she’d be ready for the drive from Tennessee to New York. From the moment I dropped my car off, my father would phone me, and with his direct jovial humor he would start our conversations with, “Chelsey, do you want to good news or the bad news?” Because my Dad is a glass half full kind of guy, his news usually goes something like, “hey, you have a flat tire, but turn the radio up and the thumping is barely noticeable.” This actually happened once in college.
Nevertheless, this time around his good news was his consolation prize to me for the bad news he was delivering. “This other part needs to be replaced,” “this part didn’t arrive in time,” “I hope you stumbled upon a small fortune because your car work is now going to cost double your original quote.” As I was left repeatedly banging my head on the wall, I got the final bad news. My car wouldn’t be ready for my drive to New York. Move – 1, Car – 1, Chelsey – 0.
Unfortunately, my best friend, who was skipping a family event to help me drive my car, was already inflight on his way to me and out of contact so I was unable to share the news that our drive would not be happening. Upon his land and after letting him have a cigarette to process the fact my lack of car news was no joke, we settled on the idea of embracing the opportunity to catch up and enjoy the 24 for hours of quality time we would have together in Tennessee.
Because my ambition is quite the backseat driver, another marvelous idea occurred to me. At this point my practicality was screaming this seemingly awesome idea is simply a facade and in fact another obstacle is surely on its way to throw you off course. My enthusiasm to make this move happen ignored all voices of reason and continued to barrel full speed ahead into that iceberg. The new plan was to rent a car for the next week and move most of my items up to New York. I would simply move my car and the remainder of my belongings later when the car was ready.**
The drive went off without a hitch, but it did involve driving 24 hours roundtrip from Tennessee to New York (one way by myself), learning how to navigate the tight streets of New York while dodging pedestrians and taxis without the use any of any of mirrors, various IKEA trips while I still had a vehicle in my possession, and returning the car late costing me another few hundred dollars more than expected. Move, – 2 Car, – 2 Chelsey – still 0.
I’m pretty optimistic most of the time (obviously because who else thinks they’ll be able to cram a big move to New York in the span of one week?); however, this moved pushed my boundaries and left me doubting myself and my decision. A decision only a few days earlier, I was so sure was the right one. New York is where I’m supposed to be.
One afternoon as I was heading home from work, while crammed in a tiny corner of the bus, sweating to death (polyester uniforms in summer, really?), breathing in the stench of too many people in a small space, and listening to everyone yelling across me to each other in their various languages, I finally had my meltdown. It was only then did I become aware that perhaps God reveals directions to the path he wants us to wander down, but just because he guides us in a direction does not mean circumstances will happen smoothly.
Without a shadow of a doubt, I’m convinced I’m where God wants me at this moment in my life. I’ve been exploring my neighborhood, eating at various types of restaurants, and with each passing afternoon I spend in my neighborhood or Manhattan, I fall more in love with the city.
My dear friend Tony Barwick, co-founder of Yebo Life, says it best:
“Consider Newton’s Third Law of Motion: ‘When a force is exerted, there is an equal and opposite force exerted against it.’ When we step out in faith, our lives start to look drastically different. It’s then that we can expect, as the Bible tells us, opposition. In the midst of opposition [and fear], pray for peace and ask for courage.”
My moving mishaps were lessons for me to push into what God is showing me in those frustrating moments. Just because something isn’t happening the way I envisioned doesn’t mean the beauty is lost in its entirety. My move cost me double what I budgeted and planned, a few of my belongings are still spread over three different cities and two states, and my car is still sitting in Tennessee waiting for the drive up to New York. I could be angry, discontent, and frustrated with God for giving me such a clear answer to the next step in my life only to be thwarted at every turn by opposition, but instead, I’m going to press forward. One way I can be sure I’m operating in my sweet spot, in line with God’s plan for my life, is the opposition that follows any life step towards God.
What areas have you face opposition? Any big plans lately you feel haven’t gone as you envisioned? Please, share below!
*Upon proofreading my mother pointed out “drowning.” They were “drowning” in my wake.
**At the time of this post, my car is STILL sitting in East Tennessee waiting to be driven to my new apartment in New York.