There’s a bit of wisdom regarding the sea: “If the ocean disappears, don’t go looking for it.” This is referring to the phenomena in which a hurricane’s low pressure sucks the water away from the coastline. I read somewhere that this is essentially “the ocean rearing up to kick us in the ass.”

This bit of wisdom is not just a meteorological observation, though. There often comes a time in which the water disappears, even from directly beneath our feet, and we almost always go looking for it. If the water receded while I was hanging out on the beach, my feet in the warm sand, a cold Corona in hand, I would certainly try to figure out what happened, and this is natural — we were enjoying the water. We want to hold onto it.

This isn’t right, though, and if we could end up caught in a hurricane if we aren’t careful. The ocean’s recession is the universe’s way of saying “Hey, this isn’t the place to be. Get out of here.” The universe speaks to us in this way every day, but we have a nasty habit of plugging our ears.

Recently, I started to listen, and I found that all of my personal hurricanes were a direct result of me looking for the water. Heartbreak as a result of forcing a relationship. Financial issues and general discontent as a result of hanging on to a poor professional decision (which was made, again, because I wasn’t listening.)

Last night, as I was planning my budget for the coming months, I found that it was going to be nearly impossible to take the classes I want and need with my current job. I was only going to be able to work one half-day each week, which wasn’t going to pay the rent. So I looked at some options: Drop a class that I’m passionate about, get a second job, or find additional loans. None of these options sounded all that attractive, so I began to feel some anxiety about leaving my old position at the university. Thoughts began racing, and an “easy” year suddenly turned into an impossible one. I put myself to bed, though, and hopped online. I happened across a posting on the same website that led me to the job I’ll be in next year, and things clicked.

“Online EFL Teacher”

I applied immediately. Within 30 minutes, I was in an interview. Fifteen minutes after that, I had a job offer. Five minutes later, I accepted.

While these rapid changes are uncomfortable, I’m happier than I’ve ever been. Learning to let go, to hear the universe’s voice, and to accept opportunities as they come has helped me find the man I want to be.

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