Folding my 1,000th towel, like I had been in the housekeeping industry for decades, I questioned why I was staying at this job that didn’t fulfill me in the slightest. Is this out of love or fear? I asked myself as I heard the sound of men grunting and slamming weights on the ground like they had serious daddy issues. The fact that even came to mind was enough of an indication to know this was the latter. Still, my mind refused to make a decision easily.
That week, I weighed the pros and cons about as many times as I thought about food, which is to say those were basically the only things I thought about that week. Some of the cons were, I don’t like any of the things I have to do at the gym, one of the girls treats me like shit for legitimately no reason and acts like mother Teresa to everyone else, a lot of the people there I don’t feel comfortable around, when I’m not at work I think about how I don’t want to go, and when I’m there I count down the minutes until I’m out. Pros were money and free gym membership. Though I made the decision a million times harder than it needed to be, and was still nervous about money and what I would do next, I put in my two weeks notice and felt relieved to have finally done it.
I was aware of the gym’s policy that after quitting, I was not allowed back in the facility for three months, even if I wanted a membership. Totally a logical rule because my five foot nothing stature was surly intimidating, and they must have needed a break from feeling inferior I suppose. I thought I’d spend the next three months using all of the free gym trials around town because free is basically my middle name, and hope that by the time they’re all up, three months will have gone by so I can go back to my old routine of HITT classes and BodyPump. The longest trial around town was at a nearby yoga studio, so I chose to start there even though yoga for me at that time was like a soap opera. Long, boring, and overrated. I figured I had nothing to lose considering they had really nice studios and showers, and yoga sculpt, which was basically a HIIT class disguised as yoga.
After my first class, I turned to the girl to my left who was sweating like she just took the ice bucket challenge, and said “I’ve never hated to love something so much in my life.” The rest was history. I began a work exchange program there, where I mopped up sweaty floors and yoga mats for an hour and a half a week, in exchange for a $20 a month unlimited membership. Not only did I meet Allie a few months later, but the beginning of another significant event happened then as well.
Fast forward a few months later, and my eyes widened like a Californian yogi just discovered they ate something with gluten in it. $2,500 was the number staring back at me. Immediately my decision to get my yoga teaching certification began to waver. I noticed in that moment that my excuses that were firing out about money and time were all fear based, and this all happened too serendipitously for me not to see what would happen if I followed through. As I handed over my credit card, I gritted my teeth like I was watching one of those videos that show up on my Facebook newsfeed of people making poor choices, and I know they’re about to hurt themselves. Once the transaction was made, I felt a sense of relief that I had made the decision. The relief made me know by making this choice, I was following my heart and not my head.
It made me aware that most of my anxiety comes from not making a decision, and once I actually do, I feel a million times better. It’s like when I went on a bungee swing in New Zealand. Suspended hundreds of feet in the air, dangling like a piece of bait, I looked down full of fear, nerves, and excitement. Once I made the choice to pull the cord and drop, only the excitement remained, which turned to pure joy as I swung and stared at the magnificent cliffs, luscious green trees, and lake that surrounded me. It’s the prolonging of making a choice that so often causes the anxiety and confusion. When I follow my heart and stay in my truth, pure joy is inevitable.
Though I had no idea what to expect, and didn’t even intend on becoming a teacher, I knew only good could come of it. If anything, I thought it would give me something to write about, and that it did and so much more. Slowly I began to notice people perceiving me as the type of person who would go out to eat with a rolled up yoga mat, wanting to order a BLT with gluten free bread, and no meat. To be fair, that’s not too far fetched.