billboards on the highway of life
Once again I find myself writing to you from an airplane. I have no idea how many feet I am above the Earth. I used the first portion of the flight to close my eyes and to rest. I love to sleep and lately it’s been the thing that comes after all of the other tasks are complete…or if I’m being really frank, it comes as what feels like a small sliver in between half-finished tasks and never-ending to dos.
It wasn’t too long ago, that for financial security I said yes to taking on a 33 hour a week role at a new company. The role was so remarkably similar my last before “leaving” my career, that I had to keep reminding myself of where I was.
On my first trip into the corporate office of the new company, I squatted in a co-worker’s office, his walls covered in pictures of the London. In my last position, my boss and half my team lived in London. I would travel there frequently and usually travel the city by tube. After a few years, I came to almost feel like I knew the routes and destinations without having to constantly check a map.
As I paused in the doorway of the new office, at the new company, looking at the photograph of the entrance to Piccadilly Circus station and the famous red double-decker bus, another frequent form of transportation, I shook my head and giggled at the Universe. "Are you mocking me?" I asked out loud.
A few weeks ago, I took a screen shot while sitting through a training, this coincidence so much more close to home it made me feel something foreign. I don’t have words to describe it.
Before me sat the software, I had helped build at the old company, the familiar names of my former team mates in black text on the screen before me. I smiled remembering the kinship we had held as team mates, wondering nostalgically how said humans were in this present day.
Simultaneously, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the absurdity of the circle I felt like I was completing.
It wasn't until the road trip that led me to this flight that I was able to put all of the pieces together into some semblance of order.
Time is a slippery concept - try to hold onto it too tightly and it will writhe and wriggle out of your grasp, just enough to make anything that feels concrete, slick, as if covered in oil; shining, shimmering, reflecting and warping.
Time is a measurement; sometimes a useful one. It’s helpful, say, when you want to meet someone for coffee. It is not helpful when you are stuck behind an accident on a freeway and running “late” to said appointment.
Time can also be deliciously delightful or downright cruel when it reminds you of where you were and where you are now.
That’s a bit like how this training call, on this system was for me. I sent a text to a dear friend that read : “I’m on a training call for [insert said system’s name]; I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.”
Along the path of our journeys, one of the things I’ve always felt immense gratitude for was those people in my life I called my “billboards”.
Those that were close enough to me to know enough of the intimate details of my transformations, of which there have been countless, and also at a distance enough to be able to reflect back to me my life’s journey across time.
They are the ones that say, “I remember when we talked a few years ago and you said you were chasing this down - it sounds like you’ve arrived”. Or, “I remember you wanting to change this thing - Well done!”. They say, “Lani, pause and listen to yourself. See what you’ve done!” I’ve mentioned these "billboard people" before.
I mention them again now because it’s the thread that pulls this story together.
Only 32 hours ago, I was leaving my house on my first ever road trip across many states for what was supposed to be a 13 hour drive to Ogden, Utah with a soul sister who has changed my life, irrevocably, for the better.
As we were passing through Boise, Idaho, and in anticipation I had called another soul sister who lived in town to try to connect the three of us, if only for a hug and a few minutes of conversation. With plans made, we connected. This beautiful soul always taps into the heart of me and opens me to a deeper level of truth.
As we were departing from our brief encounter, the skies dark and the stars shining in their pure brilliance, I started to connect her comments with my present work, life, business and people and realized instantaneously the brilliance of my universe and its teachings.
My "billboard" in Boise had been constructed to reflect back to me the importance of the person I had become, separate from the situation I found myself in again which as mentioned is an uncanny resemblance of the departure I took from that path almost 3 years ago.
The situation had to be eerily similar in order for me to see all the nuances in how un-similar I had become, in relation to the whole.
Suddenly; I could see things differently.
I could sense my power and the strength of my voice.
I could feel the distance between my work and my person. (Where previously my work defined my person).
I could feel the self-confidence of my approach, my need for external validation rendered useless.
I could see the magic in the balancing act I had been placed in; growing my business and surrendering those 33 hours a week; was a precursor to what I have been asking for - multiple streams of income from various pursuits all melded into the whole of what I call my “living”.
I could see the space between what I do to pay the mortgage and who I am as a being on the planet; a human with a clear purpose and the vision of my existence in the framework of the now.
Without the similarities; these observations would have been almost impossible.
The Universe, in its infinite intelligence about how I “see” things, knew it had to deliver the foundation as close to identical to my “before” so I could see how far I had come in my journey “now”.
A new kind of a billboard, a new style of communication with the Universe. My translator skills growing.
So as we drove those last few hundred miles, and passed signs for a town called Bliss (an original core desired feeling of mine), the constellation Orion shining so brightly out my window (a special one for me for many reasons) and I began to talk about my story the way one shares a life history; for the first time I could see the arch.
I could see, with a clear vision unlike anything I had experienced until then, the powerful truth of my current life. That I was free to continue to make my way as I have dreamed of because the deeper level I was after had been reached, successfully.
It took a bit longer and a few more tears than I would have preferred and yet, here I am. I have arrived. I’m sharing it with you as the awareness is unfolding because I always find that news is best when fresh.
Take stock, lovely human, when you find yourself in a confusing déjà vu over what the deeper message has the possibility to be. Ask your people, find a few billboards.
Gather the evidence and welcome the epiphanies as they come. Like waves of an ocean, bigger and stronger; a tsunami of your growth, reflected back at you, changing you, changing your landscape, rewriting your personal story.
And then, when the calm resettles, with all of the blank space and newness around you; you get to begin again.