Irrational Life Decisions

Let yourself be silently
By the strange pull of
What you
Really Love.

You will not be led astray.



Collage art by Pam Hogeweide

Sometimes I fantasize about heading out on the open highway instead of heading to the store for yet another food run. I heard a story on the podcast, This American Life, about a bus driver who in 1947 drove his New York City bus all the way to Florida. He disappeared for two weeks. His family did not know where he was. His boss certainly didn’t know where he was, but William Cimillo was done. He was done with the monotony and the routine and the drudgery of the life he found himself in.

When he was found and forced to return to New York City, he received a hero’s welcome. The Everyday Men and Women heralded him a working class hero for taking his life into his own hands and breaking the script. His family suffered not knowing where he was for those two weeks, and yet despite that inconsideration I, like those New Yorkers of 1947,  admire  his chutzpah for breaking away from the tried and true trail of the safe and tame.

I am at a place in my life as a middle-aged woman that playing  it safe makes good, rational sense. Taking risks is for the young, right? They have all the time in the world to right whatever mess-ups that might happen if they take the plunge over a risk-laden  cliff, like driving your bus off the job to a sunny Florida beach.

There is an itch in me that I can’t scratch these days, a restlessness that has me feeling caged up and suffocating in my daily existence like the bus driver. I’m not thinking about driving to Florida, but there is a big life decision on my horizon and I am biting at the bit to get to it and take the risk and change lanes of where my life is at. I am churning with anticipation while fear grips my guts.  

What is it about major life decisions – like job changes, hint hint – that brings to the surface every scalawag of an excuse for why I ought to remain as is,  to stand down as it were, from the center of my own existence. I drive myself and everyone around me ca-razzy with my over-analysis-obsessive-over-thinking when I am  determining a life-altering decision.

I have been summoning Wisdom to come to me in a variety of ways.

I pray. A lot.

I talk with friends. A lot.

I talk about every possible angle of The Decision with husband, who seriously should receive some kind of Husband of the Year award for enduring my neurosis.

I also search for wisdom while I make art. Many of the messages that I paint on my collage art pieces are words that I need to hear, messages that I tune in from the cosmic playlist I listen for when I am arting it up. I often hear encouragement this way.

A new way I am searching out guidance and affirmation about my Big Decision is using tarot. I used to think tarot cards were the work of the devil, an occult tool of witchery that must be avoided. But I now see tarot as a medium of  metaphors and  mini-stories that help seekers like me sort out what I need to sort out. There is a magical aspect to using tarot in that I have almost always drawn just the right cards with what was helpful to hear in the moment for whatever question I brought to the reading.


Today I drew this card in my 3-card reading >> Judgment<<.

This was intriguing to me because ever since my friend gave me this deck I have drawn this card several times. (Hello Universe, I am listening!) 

The meaning of this card is to realize I am the Key of what I have been seeking. I can trust in my own judgment to make decisions that are right for me, no matter how irrational they may appear to others. If I decide, for example,  to leave a well-paying job for a lesser paying job it may seem foolish on the outside, yet it may be the wisest decision for me and my life. I get to be the judge of that.

I follow author Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat, Pray, Love fame) on Facebook. She posts the most wonderful Zen-like Facebook statuses that lift the spirit. Like this one, a story about her cousin who decided to up and move to New Zealand :

My cousin didn’t know anyone in this entire hemisphere. She had never before traveled. She feared she was “too old” to change her life. She had always been risk-averse, and the thought of moving across the world was terrifying. But she had been stuck for too long. She was suffocating in her day-to-day existence. She couldn’t take it anymore. She was tired of faking happiness.

Then she realized: “If I don’t face my fears, I will never grow.”

So she did it. She followed some deep, irrational, inner instinct that led her right to this place. She planned to stay in New Zealand for only four months…but she has now stayed for four years. And holy shit, has she grown.

I just love that. It inspires me. I’m not planning to move to another country (not yet at least 🙂  ), but I am planning on a major life shift soon. I need to trust myself that I am on the right track, even though it seems irrational. Sometimes Wisdom is found in the irrational places, like a little bird hovering on the edge of a teacup.

That’s where I am hovering, in between worlds of where I am today and where I might be tomorrow.

What about you? Where are you hovering? Have you ever made the leap of faith for an irrational decision? A job change? A relocation? A new hair style? (hey, why not ?!!)

Tell me all about it in the comments!