When life opened a door for me everything changed
At the beginning of 2009 I thought I had it all figured out.
Life almost seemed perfect (definitely on the outside). I was living in the centre of Tel Aviv, 20- minute walk from the beach, 5-minute walk from the park and a 15-minute bike ride from the college where I was about to begin my studies. I had a good paying job that allowed me plenty of flexibility to create my own schedule. I was dating a tattooed filmmaker. Sounds good, right? So good that for a while I’ve believed that I’m exactly where I need to be, living my best possible life, ticking the boxes. Only I wasn’t… You see, I was enrolled to study marketing, which was a compromise I’ve made after not getting accepted to the graphic design course in two different universities (which was in and of itself divine intervention! I wanted to study art but thought I can’t make a living as an artist, so I figured graphic design was the best next thing…). In the summer of 2009 I met my (future to be) husband (thank you universe!) and EVERYTHING changed.
Do you remember the movie Sliding Doors? Gwyneth Paltrow plays Helen, a woman whose life goes in two wildly different directions based on whether she does or doesn’t catch a train. Well, it was my sliding door moment. It was a defining moment that led to me to make a pivotal choice that has impacted the unfolding of my life. Had I not listened to life whispering to me, to the magic of synchronicities (meeting Gil was a big synchronicity - a story for another time ;)), to what every cell in my body was telling me, I can tell you without a doubt that my life would have looked completely different right now. When life opens a door for you, will you be open enough to see it and brave enough to walk through it? To make a long story short... I met Gil, we started dating, I said goodbye to the tattooed filmmaker. I thought it was just going to be a fun and light summer romance, after all he was living in the Netherlands and I had my life all so ‘perfectly’ sorted out. What you need to know about Gil, is that he has this very unique trait, he has the ability to make everyone feel at home, aka totally comfortable to be themselves. One evening after a couple of glasses of wine, (apparently) I didn’t stop talking about art, females in art history, my favourite artist (Louise Bourgeois), museums, etc. At some point he stopped me and asked - What are you doing? Why are you going to study marketing? It’s so clear that your passion is in the arts... I told him the whole story and left it at that. I really wanted to disregard that question… But I couldn’t ignore the unsettled feeling I was now carrying with me. From thinking everything was so perfectly aligned I started questioning everything in my life. I often ask my clients - What do you know that you wish you didn’t know? (such a simple question that reveals so much!) Because here’s the thing - once you are fully aware of something it becomes harder to keep ignoring it. It’s like having a stone in your shoe and not taking it out. In the next couple of weeks I was walking with this constant battle inside my head. The very well known battle between our heart / intuition and our mind / ego (which did such a good job trying to convince me not to leave this very comfortable reality I’ve created for myself). Deep inside I knew there was no way back. I couldn’t stay blinded to the ‘kinda - almost life’ I’ve created for myself. It was like I had the most beautiful package, but it was empty inside. As the summer came to its end and the heat started to subside, during one of my early morning runs by the beach it hit me. It was so crystal clear to me: I am going to try and get accepted to art college in the Netherlands and follow my heart (Gil) and my passion (art). That day I cancelled my studies and notified my landlord that I won’t be renewing the contract. I temporarily moved back to my parents, quit my job, bought a ticket to the Netherlands and the rest is history. All my friends told me I’m so brave, but the truth is, once I made the decision I didn’t feel brave at all, because I knew in my bones that it’s what I needed to do.
That’s the thing about following your intuition + making a wholehearted decision - when you know it you know it - it comes with a deep conviction and trust, no courage needed. I ended up studying art and not becoming an artist (which is another story for another time), but it was all part of my journey. Our life's path is made of a million decisions, each of which is interwoven into a tapestry that shapes our own unique journey.
Sliding door moments happen all the time. It’s not about sitting and waiting for a sliding door moment to appear in your life, you need to be active in creating the course of your life. You can do it by asking the ‘right’ (aka meaningful) questions so you start ‘inviting’ those opportunities into your life. You need to pay attention. You need to listen. You need to trust. You have the key to change the unfolding of your life (and the life of many others), you carry the key to that door, but only you can unlock it. Love, Naama