“YOU ARE HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.”– Panda Express / Panda Inn
Comforting words to read while I’m fairly uncertain about the direction I’m heading.
It’s 6 p.m. on a Tuesday night in Southern California. We’d been packing a 26-foot moving truck for two days. We’d thought it would take one day. How naive. We’d thought we could hire a couple of guys to help for a few hours and do the rest ourselves. How unrealistic. We’d thought we’d be in Arizona by now. How delusional.
Instead, we have a good nine hours of driving ahead of us. We are tired. We are aching. We are committed. There are no choices to be made. The truck must be unloaded in the morning and returned to the rental company by 4 p.m. And so, we press on.
I wait alone in the truck in a dark parking lot while my partner runs an errand in our car, to Staples to pick up an item he ordered weeks ago. I don’t feel safe. The truck door won’t lock. My head is filled with doubts about our move to Arizona. I’ve been on edge for weeks, unable to sleep, biting the skin around my fingernails like an Ethiopian child devouring a steak before someone yanks it away. I am clinging to the familiar.
My partner returns with tubs of Chinese food and a couple of fortune cookies. Time bullies us to keep moving. We shovel down dinner. I toss a plastic-wrapped fortune cookie into the coin pan of my Chrysler’s center console, and we set out for Arizona–me pulling a small camping trailer behind my car, my partner at the wheel of a diesel moving truck. I don’t dare tell him I’m certain I can’t make it through the night.
Around midnight, we pull into a gas station. He pumps gas while I fetch us coffee from inside the convenience store. Back in the car, I crack open the fortune cookie. It’s message: “YOU ARE HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.”
You know the saying: “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”? I get that a lot. I seem to be perpetually ready. The teacher appears often, mostly in quiet ways. Like in fortune cookie messages.
I’ve taken to saving these paper fortunes when they’re particularly poignant in the moment. The moments are many. Which is to say, I’m easily redirected. I listen for direction from the universe. I believe in the powers of the universe and the significance of my place in it.
On this particular night, I am immediately comforted by the words, “YOU ARE HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.” I feel a lightness in my chest, something I haven’t felt for many weeks. I feel invigorated, excited even, about the destination that lays ahead. I’m moving forward.
Change can be scary, but in my experience (and I should really know better than to doubt this FACT in my life), ultimately it’s all good. Change creates opportunities for evolving emotionally. To me, that’s the goal of the game of life: to constantly evolve into better versions of ourselves, for our own benefit and for the benefit of those around us.