Our Cross-Country Move: A Lesson in Embracing Uncertainty

One of the greatest truths I’ve learned came from Mastin Kipp while attending his retreat in Maui, which he also wrote about on his blog:

The quality of your life is directly related to the amount of necessary uncertainty you can comfortably live with.

If we’re not willing to raise our comfort level and take risks, we won't be able to fully experience life.

While it made sense intellectually, it wasn’t until a few months ago when we decided to move to San Francisco that I truly grasped it.

Now, I know that for a lot of people, moving to a different part of the country, or even a different part of the world, may not be a big deal.

But for us, moving took a giant leap of faith. It meant moving out of the first house we bought together. It meant moving away from the place we've called home for the past 25+ years (and for Awesome Hubby, his whole life). It meant leaving our friends and family. And it also meant giving up our jobs with our current companies.

All this to follow my dream of a healthier, more active lifestyle.

It Began With a Dream

I fell in love with the Bay Area after a short stint for work almost a decade ago. I loved having access to fresh produce, outdoor activities, and delicious food. I loved the open-minded and laid-back culture. Most of all, I loved the year-round mild weather.

With my sister, brother-in-law and super adorable niece (I know, I'm totally biased) living there now, it seemed like the perfect time to move.

Though Awesome Hubby needed some convincing, he began to see the possibility of a great life there as well. I’m definitely blessed and thankful for a supportive husband who's willing to make my dream one of his own. That's what made the move even more risky - because I wasn't just uprooting my own life, I was uprooting both our lives.

The past few months were pretty stressful with so many moving parts, but it all worked out perfectly in the end.

Making It Happen

Looking back, there were three key components to making this move happen.

1. Commitment

Once we both agreed this was the next step, doors miraculously opened for us. A new project landed on my lap (thanks to my awesome soul sister who pitched me to the project manager), which allowed me to work remotely. Being able to work remotely was a huge sign that we were on the right path because not needing to find a new job on top of everything else we needed to do made the process so much easier.

2. Action in Spite of Fear

Time and time again, we took action and moved forward without knowing if it would all work out. Though we feared we could be let go, we told our bosses about our move before even having new jobs lined up. Though we feared we might not be able to find an apartment during the three weeks I gave myself, we booked my trip in advance anyway. Though we feared it could take us a while to find a renter for our house, we went ahead and signed a lease on an apartment.

We had to jump without a net and just expect that a net will appear. Each time we took action, we were rewarded with more pieces falling into place. It was when we slowed down or stopped taking new action that we encountered roadblocks.

3. Perseverance

There were many times when I questioned (to myself) if we were doing the right thing - when I saw how competitive and expensive the San Francisco housing market was, when three other homes in our neighborhood came on the market for rent, when we had way too much left still to do before our move-out date, to name a few. After all, life would’ve been much easier if we’d just stayed put.

But we kept trekking until we got it all done. And in the end, it all worked out.

The help and support we needed came exactly when we needed it. Our bosses were more than supportive in helping us transition to our new city. I found an apartment just three days after I landed with the help of my sister and brother-in-law. We found a renter in less than two weeks of being on the market. Thanks to my in-laws, we finished packing our house and selling off our possessions in time for our move-out date.

Embracing Uncertainty

Although we’ve been here for less than a month and our job situation is still up in the air, I know that our quality of life will be even better than it was back east.

I suspect this won't be the last time that I'll need to embrace uncertainty to fulfill a dream. Next time, I'll remind myself that I need to follow my heart instead of my head, act courageously rather than out of fear, and choose the unknown over the fear of change.

I'll choose uncertainty over security.

Now it’s your turn…

Which area of your life could use a little more uncertainty? What’s one thing you could do this week that you'd usually consider risky because the outcome is uncertain? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.