But though my life was good, I was excited to make it better. I felt as though I were living in a beautifully decorated brownstone, and yet there was one painting above my mantel that wasn’t quite my style. I knew I would have to replace it eventually, but since I didn’t have another painting in mind I decided to just keep it. Little did I know, that night, a fine art thief would sneak into my beautiful apartment and steal that painting—and a few others besides and I would wake up in the morning forced to start my collection from scratch.
But then, I’ve taken the metaphor too far and now I should probably tell you what I mean. Once again, it was Ash Wednesday, I was getting ready to fast, and I was seeing a psychic.
This is what the psychic told me:
There will be a hospital in your future…
The first thing she told me was that there was a hospital in my near future. Did I have any doctors appointments coming up, she asked? Yes, I had my annual women’s appointment the following week, could it be that? Make sure you go, she told me, it’s important.
The next week, my dad fell seriously ill and I flew out to be with him. For two weeks the only thing I did was eat, workout, shower, and stay with my dad in the hospital. Everything else just wasn’t important anymore. I didn’t care about my job and I didn’t have time to correspond with anyone outside my very closest circle of friends. All I could think about was my family, and nourishing myself just enough so that I could be there for them.
My dad got better, but my perspective remained altered. When I got home I became even more determined to get rid of everything that was not a priority for me. I stopped investing time and energy into people that didn’t nourish me, I stopped spending time watching television, and I got rid of as many possessions as I possibly could. In short, I paired my life down to the small group of friends that I loved and admired, the small amount of activities that made me feel truly happy, and the tiny amount of possessions that actually brought me joy. I simply didn’t have the time or space for anything else. Even my job…
You will start your dream job in August…
Around this same time period I was heading up the marketing department for a technology start-up and though it wasn’t my “passion,” I was qualified for the position, I was skilled at the work, I enjoyed the people I worked with, and I made a good living. Was it my dream job? No. But my dream job has always been to be a full-time writer and I just didn’t believe I could make a living doing that. Nor did I feel the need to.
So I wrote my blog on the side and didn’t worry too much about trying to make a living from it. Writing was my true passion, but I was perfectly content with having a day job that fueled that. And yet, the psychic told me that I would change jobs, that in August I would start a new job working for a woman, and that this job would be the start of a brand new career path. One that I would follow for the rest of my life. I honestly didn’t believe it.
A couple weeks later, when I was home with my family in the hospital, I found out through a third party that I had been laid off while I was away. I was devastated by this news, and yet detached from the outcome of it. At the time, nothing mattered more to me than my dad’s health, and though it hurt to be rejected, the fact that I wouldn’t be returning to my job when I came back did not upset me. In fact, I felt like it was God was deepening my fast. Removing one last (albeit big) thing to clear the way for whatever it was He had planned for me.
It also allowed me to collect unemployment—which was a true blessing. I could collect half the income of my previous job so long as I applied to four jobs per week. What a much needed respite! My husband and I packed up our camper van and spent the next six weeks traveling to visit his sales customers in Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Santa Monica, and Tahoe. And all the while, all I did was write, apply to four jobs per week, and enjoy spending time with my husband and my friends. It was such a relief to have only a small handful of priorities in my life—especially after such a trying time—and I thoroughly loved every minute of it.
During this time I was honestly in no rush to get a job. I knew that God had brought me this transitional time period for a reason. That I needed to fast (however unintentionally) from all of the things I thought were important in life so I could focus on the things that actually were. So I only applied to dream jobs that I thought I would never in a million years actually get. You know, writing jobs. Ones that would start me in the direction of becoming an accomplished writer for Town & Country and Porter Magazine by the time I was in my mid-forties. After all, I was in no rush to get a job, what did I have to lose?
Though I have always known where I was going, I have never been in a hurry to get there. And if I’m being perfectly honest, I never thought I would get there full-time. After trying, and failing, to start a magazine in my early thirties, I felt perfectly content to spend life working full-time in marketing while writing for fancy magazines on the side. I would have my paycheck and my passion, and that would be just perfect for me. After all, that’s what my dad did, and you know what? I think he did it right.
Then the unexpected happened. After only six weeks, I got a job—as a writer! I was starting down a new career path and I would spend 30 hours per week writing articles for a marketing agency. It was perfect! I wrote from the road and continued traveling. Then August came around and I got a second job: Only this time it wasn’t marketing writing, it was editorial writing! For ten hours per week, I would work as an editor for THE MUSE MAGAZINE!!!! Just as the psychic had said, I got a job working for a woman and changed career paths in the direction I will (hopefully) follow for the rest of my life.
Today, I am actually being paid to be a writer for a magazine. I cannot even believe my good fortune! If I hadn’t been laid off, I would never have believed it possible, and so I would never have even tried. For the first time in my life, I feel like my job is truly aligned with who I am. I spend every day writing, working for amazing companies, and yet still working for myself, with my own hours, in the comfort of my own home in Salt Lake City, Utah. Speaking of which…
You will buy a new home in the next year…
The final thing the psychic told me was that I would buy a new home within the next year. My husband and I have been living in Salt Lake City for two and a half years and I have been religiously scanning real estate listings ever since. Every. Single. Morning. I look through all the new listings, find nothing, and move on with my day. In case you don’t know the market, Salt Lake City has very limited inventory. There are two to three parts of the city everyone wants to live in, and when a house comes up in one of those areas everyone jumps on it.
To make matters worse, my husband and I have very different home styles. I wanted something elegant with a history, he wanted a garage and hose. It sounds like that wouldn’t be hard to achieve in a home but it actually is. My husband and I do not plan on having children so I have always loved the idea of getting a condo in a beautiful building and never having to worry about yard work or shoveling my driveway. My husband, on the other hand, is an outdoorsman. He has five bikes, multiple sets of skis, snowboards, surfboards, paddle boards and the like and he wanted a nice big garage where he could work on it all.
Needless to say, finding a middle ground was rough. Every place I liked, he didn’t. Every place he liked, I didn’t. He was leaning toward fixer-uppers, I didn’t want to fix anything unless it was aesthetic. Finally though, after two years, we found it. It came on the market while we were traveling in Steamboat Springs and we immediately knew it was the one. I loved it, and he loved it. It was a miracle. We hauled back to Salt Lake City just in time to look at it and put in our offer. And it was accepted!
Our new home was built in 1909 and has an incredible history in our city. The previous owners had left all the original oak, crystal doorknobs, brass hardware, and fireplaces intact, yet they had updated it with modern touches. It was elegant and incredibly charming. It also had ample room for my husband and all of his gear. We moved in last week, painted the walls black, and have begun the process of decorating it to the nines. Follow me on Instagram for the tour (I’ve been posting it slowly).
My six-month fast ended on the eclipse
This year was a transitional year for me. It was about removing all of the art from my walls so I could redesign my home from scratch—and now it just feels so me. Though before I had always imagined reaching this point when I was in my mid-forties (the reason behind that is a topic for another day), I could feel God’s hand deep cleaning my life to set this process in motion sooner. He removed each and every thing that wasn’t aligned, then slowly added each and every thing that was.
In February when I spoke with the psychic I was living in an apartment complex that, though it was lovely, didn’t fit my style. I was working at a job that, though it was nice, just wasn’t my end-all-be-all. And I was spending a lot of my time and energy on things, people, and possessions that just weren’t a priority for me. Now, all that has changed. In February I started a forty-day fast for lent that ended up lasting six months. From February to August God removed almost everything from my life except that which was most important.
Then the week of the eclipse my life shifted. I got a new job and a new house the same week. And I would never have found either if I didn’t have so much empty space in my life. If I didn’t have nice clean walls ready to be furnished. And now my transition period is over. God ended my fast and I am blessed to have a nice full home. A nice full life. But full of only the best things of life, and with none of the clutter. That’s how I know it was all God’s plan and not my own.
How the psychic knew all of these things would come to pass, I do not know. And it certainly could have all been a coincidence. But I can’t help but wonder if there wasn’t someone who loves me, whispering to her from across the veil. Reassuring me that though I would go through a period fasting, it would all be for a reason. Looking back now, I am glad for that reassurance. Because even when my life felt the most empty, I knew it was only temporary. That God would fill it back up with time. And I enjoyed being in the in-between with Him while He did.