it’s my brother’s fault. he got all inspiring on me last week and mentioned why didn’t i just look for a space on craigslist? he knew that there were places available for pretty cheap, right in the middle of everything. and he said that it’s be a place dedicated for me to work on writing and perhaps even mentoring/counseling at some point. i took him seriously, but didn’t really think about it… until thursday night.
i have no idea why, but i found myself on craigslist searching for downtown asheville office spaces for rent. never in my wildest dreams would i come upon one that said this:
“Flat Iron Office Spaces for Rent. Small, fully furnished, ideal for a counseling practice and/or one person who needs to meet with clients, work on the computer/phone, etc. Could also be arranged to accommodate a massage therapist. Sofa, desk, cabinet, rug, etc. All of the basics are in there, but not many personal touches… YOU ARE WELCOME TO ADD YOUR OWN. I only need this office on Mondays, so you’re welcome to it the other six days of the week.”
the flat iron building is a very famous, historic building built in the early 19020s in the heart of downtown asheville. the building is in the shape of an iron (hence the name!), and just outside the building is a sculpture of an iron – an unspoken gathering place for local musicians. there is pretty much never a moment when there is not someone playing some instrument of another. the building’s architecture is amazing, with the bottom floors filled with shops & cafes, and the other 7 floors rented out as business spaces – web design companies, counselors, massage therapists, a rooftop bar, health care, lawyers. it’s a dream to have an office in one of these historic downtown buildings.
to think about having my own office in this building blew me the freak away. and it seemed so possible because it was so cheap. or was i just crazy? well, before i knew it, my fingers were dialing the number in the ad. i couldn’t believe i was doing this! i had to leave a message, and then i didn’t think about it again… until morning.
for some reason, as i was checking email and such on friday morning, i decided to look on craigslist again. and, again, this ad popped up. again, i found myself dialing the number, this time to hear the voice of a sweet man answer the call. we chatted for a moment and then he asked me when i could meet him. on the same day. so, i set up a time, took lina to school, and then drove to the world coffee cafe (my latest fika experience) to meet up with perry, a nice, bubbly, friendly man.
he whisked me away after greeting me and we headed into the historic building, taking the elevator to the 5th floor. directly in front of us, when the elevator man (yes, there is a man that works the elevator full time!) slid open the doors, was room 516.
perry put the key in, pushed open the door, and in front of me was a little, fairly sparsely furnished office. a sofa. a desk. a chair. a bookcase. and a window. though there wasn’t much to it, it felt good. it had good vibes & energy. and the colors were warm and inviting. could i actually rent this space and write here?!
perry and i chatted, and i could tell that i was already approved to be the sub-let tenant of this office space. the lady who rents it had written me a letter letting me know that i could do whatever i needed/wanted to with the space. and, it was true, she only needed it on mondays. wow. and it was dirt cheap. have i said that before?
we headed outside on to the fire escape and upstairs. there are tables & chairs for relaxing on the fire escape… and on the top, there is a bar. it’s crazy awesome. of course, with the rental of the office, i would have access to all of this, all the time. my little secret hideaway. in nature and yet, in the city. oh my gosh, and the views were indescribable.
i told perry that i’d be in touch after the weekend. i needed time. time to not think i was crazy. and time to do the budget. even if was dirt cheap, i felt the need to go through all the finances. he was fine with that and told me i could call whenever. of course i wanted it, but… there’s always that damn “but”.
i woke up this morning, not having thought about it much during the weekend, feeling stressed. i was frightened of what others would think about this decision of mine. god, when will i ever stop feeling that way? this is one of my demons. ugh. but, when i took some time, closed my eyes, breathed really deeply, then i knew. i knew i had to do this. crazy or not. this opportunity presented itself to me, or i stumbled upon it, or the universe brought it to me, whatever… and i could not just ignore it. i could not turn my back on this chance to seize the day and follow my dreams. this chance to take a step further into becoming that published writer i want to be. i knew it was right.
so, i called perry this morning. and an hour later, i was meeting my new office partner so she could give me my keys. and, by the way, she and i clicked. like big time.
so, there it is. right up there. i am overwhelmed and excited and scared. i cannot believe that i have my own office to retreat to in the middle of downtown! now, let’s see what opportunities come my way next… ( i have a meeting/interview at website company on thursday to perhaps be a contributing writer for their asheville website) but, before i get ahead of myself, tonight, i am just slowing down a bit, being thankful for the possibilities that are out there. for the people i keep meeting. for the dreams that are coming real, one little step at a time.
the thing is, all we have to do is listen. just be still and listen. listen to that inner voice, feel that inner light. all we have to do is be authentic to who we are. all we have to do is simply be. the answers will come. the opportunities will present themselves. and we will know what to do. and whatever plan you have figured out for yourself, let it go… because the universe, or God, or whatever will have an even better one waiting in the wings. allow yourself to be transformed. allow yourself the joy of creating dreams and chasing them to the ends of the earth. keep dreaming. keep chasing. and, when you reach one, dream an even bigger one. because, you, are amazing. and you deserve all of the happiness and joy and, most importantly, inner peace that exists.
i just want to thank all of you, you who read this blog, for your encouragement, support, words of wisdom & inspiration. i am truly blessed. and grateful. you guys are simply the best! you are my inspirations, along with my wife, who is my true inspiration – the strongest, most amazing woman who kicked ass to get her life back and follow her dreams. one year ago, i would have never imagined that we’d be where we are, doing what we do. but, here we are. and life is amazing. but, we didn’t quit. we didn’t give up. and most of all, we envisioned and believed… in ourselves and in each other.
now, i want you to do the same. and don’t be shy. stop by the flat iron building and come on up to see me so we can chat and fika together.
peace, love, & dreams.
happy sunday, friends! i am feeling a little wanderlust-y today, but i’m not really going anywhere. and i don’t have any plans for any road trips any time soon, which is perhaps why i am feeling wanderlust-y. still, the desire to travel and my dreamy, contemplative nature, keep life interesting. it keeps me learning. and growing. and hoping. and planning. so, go ahead. dream away. make wishes. write a bucket list. wonder. contemplate, ponder. wander. slow down. go new places & explore new things – even if it’s just around the corner. an even on a regular sunday. because, isn’t that what life is really all about?!
peace & love & adventures.
*image from pinterest
“how can i accept a limited definable self, when i feel, in me, all possibilities?” -anaïs nin
who i am is not what i do. it is so much deeper than that. it is the space deep within me known as my soul. my spirit. the source. the divine spark.
so, my job does not define me. i am who i am no matter where i go to work. or what i do while i am there. the calling, the purpose of my work (whatever it may be), is to be a manifestation of my soul. my work is a reflection of who i am, but not who i am. my work is my gift back to the world.
here’s a quote from kahlil gibran’s “the prophet”, an amazing little poetic book from an early 20th-century philosopher and artist. perhaps his words on work & self are more clear. they are definitely more beautiful:
“when you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music. which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?
…but i say to you that when you work you fulfill a part of the earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born, and in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life, and to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.
…and when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God”
these are my thoughts, my ponderings, my dreams, and my inspirations for all that i face today.
happy monday, my dear friends & family. peace.
today i am open to the presence of miracles.
It’s perfectly normal, Liz, that when waiting for a really big dream to come true it seems like it’s taking forever, you wonder if you’re doing something wrong, and you feel like you should just be happy with less.
But I promise you, no matter how long it takes, once it happens it’ll seem as if time flew, you’ll wonder how you ever doubted yourself, and you’ll feel like you should have aimed a little higher.
Aim a little higher, Liz –
“The moon does not fight. It attacks no one. It does not worry. It does not try to crush others. It keeps to its course, but by its very nature, it gently influences. What other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore? The moon is faithful to its nature and its power is never diminished.” ― Deng Ming-Dao, Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony
well, friends, it’s time to get moving on the next phase in this move back to the united states…. time to find a job.
am i overwhelmed? that’s an understatement. scared? totally. but, i’m not scared of not finding a job (perhaps i should be). what i am most scared of, is not being true to myself. of getting stuck in a job that i know in my soul is not the job for me. i know, i know. i must be realistic and accept a job that pays the bills and provides a sense of security. but, i am also determined to be true to who i am, to my dreams. i have lived a safe & secure life before. and i have also lived a life of risks and dreams. what i have found is that i am being more true to myself, and offering more to the world, when i chase those dreams and take those risks, than when i simply settle for what most people expect.
so, the quest in my life right now is to trust. to breathe. and to find a balance.
starting today, my head will be buried deep in the classifieds of the local newspapers. my email account will be burning from all the contacts i am trying to make. my printer will be smoking from all the resumes i am printing. my knuckles will be white from all the doors i will be knocking on (literally & figuratively). and my mind will be open to new & different experiences.
what is my dream job anyway? well, ultimately i would spend my days writing and photographing and talking with people. i would love to be a mentor/teacher/counselor, working with social issues, such as lgbt rights/education, women’s rights, poverty, homelessness. a non-profit organization might just be a perfect match for me. of course, i would also love to work from a spiritual perspective – no certain denomination or religion, an ecumenical setting instead (though i do have a general belief system of my own). in addition, i also dream about taking some time to become a certified yoga instructor on the side.
so, north carolina/asheville people, if you are aware of anything that sounds like its right up my alley, please let me know! everyone else, keep sending me some positive vibes and saying little prayers. for me, this time is not simply about finding a job and a paycheck. it is about the next part of my journey in life.
i think i’m going to read the quote above every morning and every evening… letting the gentle power of the moon be my inspiration.