Had someone told me how much boredom is involved in creating a new life, I may not have been so enthusiastic. When I got home from the vacation that inspired Rio, I had no idea I would spend entire days (and weeks) of the next four months completely bored. I was so excited, so passionate, and so certain of my path in those early days. I just knew it was all going to fall into place exactly as I envisioned from the middle of Belgium. It didn’t.
What I had to (re)learn during those months was that personal growth, by definition, involves a lot of internal reflection and introspection. That meant a lot of down time – alone with my thoughts and stuck in my own head. I also had to learn a new lesson. It turns out external change, and the creation of something new, requires just as much. And while I knew reflection was the key to any meaningful growth, I had forgotten that it can feel incredibly isolating – and boring – in the midst. Especially coming off the high of the decision itself.
Rio’s journey also involved a lot of waiting. For returned calls, for replies to emails, for meetings to be scheduled. All of that required patience, and taking someone else’s time into consideration. Unfortunately, I am not great with patience. The anxiety triggered by trying to be patient has followed me since childhood. I know now that it will be a lifelong process learning to master how to calm myself, to breathe, and to wait. In fact, one of the biggest a-ha moments from the early weeks of this transformation was that my sense of urgency will not be shared by every single person I contact. It meant I had to learn to breathe through the panic and the anxiety and the negative voices (sometimes my own) saying I was crazy for walking away from a career I had spent most of my adult life establishing.
The journey meant having faith. As someone who has never fully connected with organized religion, I had to find another way to define and embrace faith if it was going to be part of my life going forward. Over the last four months, I have come to see faith as trusting that everything works out exactly as it should, regardless of wishes (or efforts) to the contrary. Faith means accepting that “exactly as it should” will sometimes look nothing like what I thought I wanted. Faith is choosing to believe that good things happen, and that you can bring good into your life by doing good.
My faith – and the journey to launch Rio – was perfectly summed up by one of my best friends in what ultimately became our motto: relax, breathe, believe