A Leap of Faith
If you had asked me on that day two years ago when I boarded the plane alone for a one way trip from Portland to LAX in hysterics if I thought my daughter would move here, I would have hoped it with all my heart, but not believed it.
But my leap of faith into the unknown opened the door for her to leap also. And if I didn’t have the courage to take that leap this life that we are both now living may have never happened, and that scares me.
The life I am living right now may have never happened, and that scares me. Two years ago I walked into my office in downtown Portland, logged on to my computer, and searched the internal job board for jobs in Los Angeles. It was right after my Ex-husband and I took a Labor Day weekend trip to the Oregon Coast that was a disaster. We were having issues already, and when I tried to talk it out on the car ride down, it turned into a heated argument. This was after five months of basically ignoring each other. I told him that weekend that I couldn’t be in the relationship anymore, he didn’t take me seriously because I had said that so many times before and stayed anyway. But I knew that this time was different.
I immediately got a response to my inquiry regarding the job in Los Angeles, and I told them that I would be in the area in 2 weeks and I could interview in person. I was finally doing it, after years of dreaming about it, I was finally taking the steps to change my life completely. I had wanted it so badly for so long, but I had been too scared to actually do it. When I walked into the building in downtown Los Angeles for my interview I felt like I was going to pass out. My hands were shaking, and my heart was beating out of my chest. I went into the bathroom and stared at myself in the mirror. I fixed my hair, put some more lipstick on and then I walked through security and took the elevator to the 32nd floor to change everything about my life.
It was a whirlwind few months of interviews and planning and at the end of October my manager told me that I could transfer to Los Angeles and my first day of work there would be November 1st, 2019. My daughter was still in college in Seattle, and I told her that I got the job and would be moving. ‘There is nothing left here in Portland for me,’ I told her as we both cried. As I ended the call, my anxiety went through the roof as I planned, packed and prepared for my new life. My car was being transported so I packed it with as much as I could fit in it, I took 4 suitcases on the plane, and that was it. I left everything else behind.
It felt surreal to book a one way ticket to LAX. The morning finally came for me to fly out of Portland and my Ex-husband drove me to the airport. He wasn’t mad, he wasn’t sad, he wasn’t anything and that was probably the most hurtful. I was leaving him, and he had no emotion about it, at least that I could see. I broke down in the car and started crying hysterically and told him that this was it. This was finally it. After all my threats to leave I was finally doing it. I don’t know if he believed me or not, but he didn’t try and convince me to stay with him. He just silently drove me to the airport. I got out of the car and he stood in front of me. ‘I hope you find what you are looking for’, I said to him as I hugged him goodbye. That was the last time I saw him.
Twenty years of living with someone and I was on my way to go live alone. I could barely walk and control my emotions as I boarded the plane and stared out the window to say goodbye to my home. I didn’t know what the future held, but I knew it was time to move on. I knew in my heart that my marriage was over, and my divorce was final in April 2020. I was officially single again and I was officially living in Los Angeles.
I had changed a lot since the last time I lived alone, and it had been a long time since all I had to worry about was me. I started dating and making new friends that knew nothing about my former life as a wife and a mother. I was reinventing myself, but really it was a journey back to my real self. I had made so many compromises in my marriage over time, that I forgot who I was, and what I wanted. I always knew I wanted a family, but why did it seem like it was so hard and draining to be married? At first I blamed myself, and then I tried to talk it out with my husband. I eventually felt tired and helpless so I fell silent and just observed my Ex. I started to notice how he took care of himself with little thought as to whether I was happy or not. I started to feel stupid for trying so hard. ‘What am I doing?’ I would ask myself. Where is all this sacrifice and compromise getting me? Nowhere but sad, depressed and lonely. I realized that my marriage was not going to change to include me in the equation, and I knew if I wanted to be taken care of I was going to have to do it myself.
On Monday of this week, I waited, as my daughter drove to my house to come live with me. She had her car loaded up with as much as it would carry, and left everything else behind. She transferred with her job and is now living and working in Los Angeles. We are together, and we will create a new life here.
If you had asked me on the day I flew out of Portland in hysterics if I thought my daughter would move here, I would have hoped it with all my heart, but not believed it. But my leap of faith into the unknown opened the door for her to leap also. And if I didn’t have the courage to take that leap, this life that we are both now living may have never happened, and that scares me.