[00:00:00] Laurin: It was crazy. It just unfolded. And in hindsight, now I know that taking that kind of leap and then having it all unfold like that is because we were in the flow. We were in that flow of where our energy, our souls, our higher selves wanted us to go, wanted us to be.
Hi friends and welcome to Curiously Wise. I'm Laurin Wittig, your host, and today I wanna share kind of a multi-generational story with you because it's about taking leaps, taking leaps of faith, taking leaps of courage, and how great they can be when you, especially when you look back at them and see how they've changed your life, good or bad, easy or hard.
There's always things to learn from these leaps that we take in our lives. And so I just wanna share a little bit of a story of my personal experience recently that has echoed sort of the, this lesson in my own life. This summer I was traveling a lot and that's a good thing.
I love to travel. It's been a couple of years of where we really couldn't travel. We had a lot of big trips set up for 2020, and of course those didn't happen, so we had, we kind of jam packed 2022 with a lot of traveling. And one of my trips, I had a lot of special trips this year, but this one was something I will come back to again and again, I think. And this was a trip that I took with my son where we drove his car from the East coast, from Williamsburg, Virginia, where I live to the West coast, to Seattle, Washington where he and his fiancé were moving.
And she had gone out early to kind of get things going on that end. And we were gonna drive across in August the northern part of the country. This was something on my bucket list. I wanted to do a cross country drive I think since I was a kid.
My big brother did one, well, it was cross country from Mississippi out to the west coast and back, so it was kind of half country. But here I get to go. Cross country from one shore to the other. So it's been on my bucket list a long time and I got to do that and I got to do it with my son.
And that was special cuz he's grown, he's lived about two and a half hours away. So I got to, I get to see him, you know, every now and then, but not often. And so to spend essentially five solid days with him. We had a blast. We actually had really beautiful weather except for one couple of hours in Sioux Falls where a tremendous thunderstorm came through.
So we just pulled off and sat in the lee of a building for a little bit. But other than that, the weather was remarkably awesome and the geological changes that happen as you cross this country are mind boggling and fascinating. And so that, that was some of the stuff that I really wanted to see.
It was quite magical in a lot of ways. My son and I, we had great conversations. We listened to some interesting podcasts cuz he's a big podcast listener and so he introduced me to a couple of new podcasts that I had not listened to that were fascinating.
And, it was just this really nice sort of time out of time with him that I haven't had since he was younger, before he went off to college. That was one aspect of this, this time with him. And it was such a treat. Our daughter had moved to Seattle almost nine years ago.
Yeah. Probably coming up on 10 years. And her father had driven her out, so they had that experience. So this was kind of fun for me to get to do it with the other child who is an adult. But when I was telling friends about doing this, and again, when I got back, everybody said, well, aren't you sad to have them so far away?
Isn't that, aren't you sad that they're moving? Wouldn't you rather have them here? And I had the same response when our daughter moved away a long time ago, and now when our son has moved away. And that is no, I actually am in conversation with my daughter way more when she moved out there than when she lived in my home.
So there's the lovely technology that doesn't make them feel so far away, and that's nice, but there's also this idea that why would I want them to stay here just to keep me company? I moved a lot as a kid. My mom liked to have a new house every couple of years, I don't know why I never asked her, but it meant that I changed schools regularly and I rarely went to a school more than two years.
And, and so, you know, the idea of moving was not unusual to me, but also the idea of moving far away, that was something that I had done. So I had done it in my twenties. They were a little bit older actually. My daughter was almost exactly the same age, but I had moved from the DC area to New Orleans when I was 23, I think.
And I went to grad school down there. My mom helped drive me down there and helped me find an apartment and helped me move. And I had done the finding of the apartment stuff with my daughter when she moved out there. And now I got to do the driving down there and helping move part with my son.
So I was able to sort of pay that forward, which is kind of cool. But also I knew from that experience that even though it's hard to move, especially far away, you're leaving friends behind, you're leaving familiar places behind. You're leaving old patterns and habits behind. You take some of those with you, but some of them are site specific and it also gives you some distance from that previous life, however it came to be.
That gives you perspective on it. And allows you to kind of let go of things that weren't working so well for you and, and take up some new things. Bring new people into your life. Bring new interests into your life. Bring new activities into your life. Cuz every place has its own things that are going on.
So for me, that had been a very positive experience. I loved living in New Orleans. I loved it. It's such a weird place. There's no other place like it in the US that I've experienced is as closest to somewhere old in Europe as I've ever experienced here. But there's Aua de Viva, a joy of life there that in spite of a abyssal climate, and you know, things like Katrina come through.
And there's a lot of poverty, and yet there's still this joy in the air there that I love. So anyway, I loved being down there and I met my husband there in this weird set of synchronicities. We ended up working in the same restaurant which I was doing part-time as a student.
And I met him there. Neither of us were from there. Both of us had come there to go to school at Tulane, but he was undergraduate and I was graduate. Moving so far by myself was lonely at first. It was intimidating. It was a new city. I wasn't familiar with it. I had visited there as a child, but I'd never lived there.
Didn't know anybody there. I did have the advantage of school was gonna be starting shortly after I moved there, so I knew that I would be meeting people, so that helped. But there were a couple of weeks that were really hard. So I know that that's part of the process, but I, looking back, it was like, yeah, that was a couple of weeks really, it felt like forever at the time, but it was a couple of weeks before I started to meet people and started to settle into sort of a new life and a new pattern.
And it was so beneficial to me in many ways, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually. It's in every way may life was improved and changed in some pretty huge ways. I mean, meeting your husband we've been married for, oh my gosh, 37 years now. I think it, I don't know, but so major trajectory change. Now, he and I had decided after we got married, we'd lived down there for about a year after we got married.
That really New Orleans wasn't the place that we wanted to raise kids. We didn't have any yet, but we, we knew we wanted them. So we just started thinking, maybe we need to think about where we want to start a family. And both of us had experience with being close to our grandparents when we were young and really relishing that time with our particularly grandmothers.
And so we decided that cuz we didn't really know, we thought about maybe North Carolina for a little while, but we didn't really have anything specific that was drawing us there. So we finally decided because of the grandparent thing, that we should either look at Boston to be close to his family or DC, to be close to my family.
And I had lived in Rhode Island. I wasn't real keen on, on the winters up there. He didn't really wanna live in Boston, he knew enough of it to know that that wasn't someplace that he'd ever wanted to live. And he had visited DC with me. So we just decided that we would do. And so that was a big move.
It wasn't as big for me because I was moving home, essentially, but it was a huge leap of faith for him that this would be okay, and that we would be able to build a life there with kids which we did. We were able to get financially on our feet. We were well employed.
My husband had become an IT consultant, a computer consultant we called it back in the days which was a very good area to be in. We were able to really start a family and buy a house and all those things that you wanna do when you're at that point in your life.
But our son, when he was born, our second child, the one I drove out to Seattle with, was born, he was very sickly and he had ended up with really bad asthma starting at about nine months old, which is very early. And the, house we were in was an old house and it, just was moldy and we had all kinds of things that were a problem for respiratory issues, but also we lived north of the city.
And that's where all the pollution blows from, and we weren't far from the beltway, so a lot of pollution. And that also was an asthma problem. So we spent almost two years, I think it was looking for a better place to live, still near DC because that's where our family business was. And we just couldn't find a house we could afford and a place that we liked that wasn't too bad.
A commute had good public schools, all of those things. And we're really getting not desperate, but tired of looking. We needed to get out of the house we were in because it just was not a healthy house particularly for our son. But I had allergies and asthma too.
And so it was not good for any of us to be in that house any longer. We had to start thinking outside the box, and I don't remember which one of us suggested that well, what if, favorite question, what if being close to DC was not the issue? Where would we want to live? Well, for several years at that point we'd been bringing the kids to Williamsburg over the Memorial Day weekend or labor, I think it was Labor Day weekend.
Anyway, one of those long weekends, we've got Bush Gardens here, we've got the Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown in Yorktown, and just the beautiful little town with lots of things going on. We really had kind of fallen in love with it. There's the college here, so there's a lot of stuff related to that.
It's a tourist town, so there's all kinds of art shows and plays that come through in music and all kinds of things going on. So it just kind of hit all of our, gee, wouldn't that be nice buttons? And it had good school system and it was not the town it is now. It's grown a ton since we've been here, but we were able to figure out what if we could move to Williamsburg?
How would we make that work? And that began a series of investigations and making some pretty life changing decisions that were scary at the time. One of those was that my husband would stay in DC three days a week.
Which we figured still meant he'd be home four full days a week cuz he'd work from home a couple of days and he'd see the kids a lot more. He'd be home when they got home a couple days a week. He'd be here for dinners four days a week instead of rarely. Cuz between the work he was doing and the commute, he just was, he was gone seven to seven basically every day in DC.
We were nervous. We said well let's go see. Let's go take a trip down to Williamsburg, just me and him and see if we can find a neighborhood we like. Let's check out the schools. And we did all that. And we found, I actually found online the neighborhood we now live in. It was the first place that I found, and we were able to build a house here.
It took every penny we had at the time. We were house poor for a long time. We were able to meet all of our criteria except being close to the metro in DC and it was a big change for all of us. All of us, the kids came out of Montessori school and went into public schools. I was now not only a stay-at-home mom, but I was a stay-at-home mom in a place where I knew nobody.
We were as a couple, we were separated three days a week and I didn't know how that was gonna affect our relationship. Turned out it's been really good. So there were all of these things that were scary, but it felt like the right thing to do. And once we took the leap and decided this is what we were gonna do, everything fell into place.
It was amazing. It was amazing. And it's not like we didn't have to take action to enable that to happen. You have to look for a new apartment, for example, to live in while you're waiting for your house to be built. Those sorts of things. But they all unfolded exactly at the time we needed them to, in the places we needed them to.
Our house actually sold before we put it on the market. I mean, it was just, it was crazy. It just unfolded. And in hindsight, now I know that taking that kind of leap and then having it all unfold like that is because we were in the flow. We were in that flow of where our energy, our souls, our higher selves wanted us to go, wanted us to be.
And we've lived here for a long time now. I've never lived in one place for as long as I've lived here in Williamsburg, so, it was pretty good. So, this is the backstory to why, for me it was so easy to encourage my kids to move so far away. It's such a leap of faith. It's such an act of courage and it's such an act of curiosity to move somewhere different.
And it helps when there's somebody there to help you do it, either help you with the move or in the case of my daughter, when she moved out to Seattle, she moved with a friend from college. So they had each other to support and to help and to lean on with my son and his fiancé, they have their sister there, who already knows the lay of the land and can connect them with people, and help them find a place to live and that sort of thing.
So it's definitely easier to do it that way. But when we moved to Williamsburg, we knew no one, When I moved to New Orleans, I knew no one. And so it's just something in, I guess it's in my DNA, my husband's DNA because he had done it moving to New Orleans, never having been there. Leap of faith that it would be okay that he would be able to figure it out.
And we always have said to our kids and to ourselves, and this includes when I stopped working to stay home with the kids, which was not something that was ever in my plan, but turned out to turn my life in a whole different direction. We always gave ourselves the out. If we don't like it, we can go back and we said the same thing to both kids.
If you don't like it, you can come home. And literally they could move back in with us for a while till they figured out what was next. And everybody knows that. Everybody knows that that's always on the table. If you try something and you don't like it, you don't have to stay there.
I'm happy to say that it looks like my son and fiancé are very happy out there. I know my daughter's very happy out there. I know that the move to Williamsburg was good for all of us in a variety of different ways. It was interesting during the pandemic because my husband and I lived together 24 7 for the first time in 20 years, at the beginning of that.
And we were used to having that alone time. We are introverts. I have a whole family of introverts, so we're used to our alone time. It required some adjustment, which was really interesting, 20 years into this experiment of living apart part-time.
And it was really good for us. We really had to have some conversations about, okay, this isn't working. What can we do? You know, a what if, what if we set you up with your own TV place in that area and then I can have my TV place in this area. And, you know we both had to reorganize offices at home because we were working full time at home together.
And we have different paces to our work, different needs to focus, and that sort of thing. So this idea of saying what if and then trying something, taking a leap. What if, what if I started a podcast? Ooh, I don't know. That's a little scary. Let me try that. It's turned out to be so much fun and I have met so many incredible guests as we get close to wow I think I've interviewed 45 people now, something like that. I mean, almost a whole year's worth of interviews, and it's been fun. It's been a learning curve. It's been exhausting at times. There are things that we've had to tweak along the way, my team and I, but I took a leap.
I took a leap into writing. I took a leap into motherhood. Boy, that's a big leap. I took a leap into being a stay-at-home mom. That was never on my to-do list. That was never on my bucket list. I was raised that you should have a job. Okay? That's what I'll do. I'll have a job, and I liked my job.
But, it was better for everybody for me to make a change, to take a leap with that out if you don't like it in six months my job was waiting for me. And six months came and went really fast and everybody in the family was happier and healthier and it just turned out to be a good decision.
So there's so many times in my life where I have just taken a big leap, just like, ugh. I just, either I want to try that or, I need something new or this isn't working, and that question, what if is so huge. So I'm so proud of my kids for honoring that challenge of try something new. What's gonna make you happy? You don't really always know what's gonna make you happy, so you have to try things and sometimes that's really scary. Sometimes it means moving somewhere new where you don't know anybody and you have to start over.
But sometimes start overs are really powerful and really transformational and give you new perspective and offer you new opportunities to discover what lights you up what you no longer want in your life, what you are willing to experiment with.
So I encourage you to look for where you've taken leaps. Look backwards. You've got the perspective of time. Now look backwards and find those places where perhaps you took a leap of faith. You made a big change that was scary, but you had the courage to see what happened. And look and see, even if it wasn't successful.
In other words, if I had moved to New Orleans and decided that wasn't for me and moved back to DC without a new plan that would've been in my mind, would've been an unsuccessful try at living in New Orleans. But on the other hand, I learn things from it. So even if you have what feels like an unsuccessful challenge, there's probably something really valuable in it for you.
So take a few minutes and really think about, okay, so if that, I tried that, didn't like it. Maybe you tried, I don't know. Maybe you tried a job, a new job and you didn't like it, or maybe you tried college and didn't like it. Maybe you tried becoming a vegetarian and didn't like it. There's all kinds of things that you might have tried along the way.
Look and see what you learn from it, because you always learn something of value. You always have a deeper wisdom from those experiences. So look and find out what that experience is and what you've gleaned from it. And this is also true for those that worked like I've just been doing with you today.
It's really helpful and useful to remind yourself that, yeah, sometimes you just have to take a leap, even if it feels uncomfortable. Especially if it feels uncomfortable, it's harder to make those changes, right? But then those are the ones with the most value. So I'm really proud of my kids that they have embraced that attitude of what if we did this, let's try it out.
And I I'm really glad that somehow, I got that. I'm sure I, I got that from my parents very early on because they were big travelers and they didn't seem to blink at moving yet again. I'm proud of my husband, for embracing it too, cuz he did not grow up in a family where that was just part of the way you lived.
So it's something that's really been valuable to us as a family. It's certainly been valuable to me and continues to be as an individual. And I hope that you can look back and see some places where you've become the person you are today because of the things you've learned from that experience.
The question, what if and the practice of leaping take a leap, be courageous. Practice being courageous. That's a quote from my daughter when she was about five that she was practicing being courageous. And it's such a great line, practice being courageous, and you never know what's gonna unfold.
So, I hope that I haven't rambled too much here. I hope that you have gotten some insights to your own leaps, and I hope that you'll continue to take leaps because I know for me, each leap I take just lights me up. It makes me happy, It makes me grateful for the opportunity to try something new. Have a wonderful day.
I hope to see you next week for the next episode of Curiously Wise, and in the meantime, shine on.
Thank you so much for joining us today on Curiously Wise. If you enjoyed this episode, please be sure to subscribe so you don't miss future fabulous conversations. And if you had any ahas, please share them in a review on Apple Podcasts so we can continue to pay forward the unique wisdom we all have.
If you want to know more about me or my intuitive energy healing practice, Heartlight Wellness, please head over to my website. www.heartlightjoy.com.
Curiously Wise is a team effort. I am grateful for the skill and enthusiasm. Arlene Membrot, our producer, and Sam Wittig, our audio engineer, bring to this collaboration. Our music is Where the Light Is by Lemon Music Studio.
I'm Laurin Wittig. Please join me again next week for another episode of Curiously Wise. From my heart to yours, may your life be filled with love, light, joy, and of course, curiosity.