A Story For Another Day


Just as people remember, distinctly, where they were when events that change the course of history happen, I remember the moment I decided to hit the reset button on my life with a clarity I was previously never afforded. I was standing in a mall parking lot, obsessively checking my phone for a text from the man I (and everyone else in my life) thought I was going to marry. It was hot outside — the kind of heat that sticks to you like bare thigh to church pew — and it hit me during the during the frantic text message draft-and-erase cycle: I was deeply unhappy. There had to be more in this life for me, and I needed to find it.

The rest didn’t come with the fanfare of epiphany, but that was the day the slow-burn fire caught. I was being carried by the forceful riptide of okayness, of wanting to do what everyone else was doing, of not wanting to peek between the blinds from my house of complacency at the faces of fear and doubt, but when I did, amongst them I saw ineffable possibility. That was the one I eventually locked eyes with. I untangled myself from that five-year relationship and immediately felt a gentle affirmation that grew each day.

I had a job that I liked well enough, despite giving myself a constant reminder of its benefits as a method of subconsciously repressing the desire for more. I knew my dream job was attainable, but the career change would be difficult. I would have to convince them I was good enough. But first — and with what turned out to be far more difficulty — I had to convince myself.

A year of long days and endless, gnawing “can I really do this?” questions, I got that dream job, and in it I found a confidence that is always reminding me — sometimes with a whisper and sometimes with a roar — that I am on the right path. I’d eventually give my upward-beating heart away to a guy in a big city that would break it with the unexpected force of a summer storm. But even in that heartbreak, there was a joy in the realization that I still had so much to give, that my story was (and is) still being written.

Let the record show that this is not a lesson in fearlessness. My story is not unique, only unique to me. It is, however, a reminder that I’ll never be stuck — that complacency isn’t a howling gale, but a breeze that’s so easy to ignore, you can forget it’s there. It’s only when I allowed myself to pull that faint thought of possibility from the murky waters of my subconscious and force it into words and intentions, give it room to grow, that I allowed my heart to roar in a way I never knew it could.

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