Ten Small Steps to Take a Leap in Life


As I write this morning, rays of sunshine are pouring into my kitchen window. The downtown skyline is in the distance, my daily destination as I dove headfirst into the Houston workforce right out of school.

I now live in walking distance from work and am still wide-eyed on my way as I try out new routes regularly in an effort to explore my new neighborhood and surroundings.

Moving homes and jobs has certainly given me new lenses to look through life in, but since these drastic changes, I've noticed small actions and subtle differences in how you approach every day impacts how I see things in not-so-small ways.

This understanding helps me recognize the truth in something my photography instructor shared in our first session on Monday:

"The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes."

I'm trying to apply this in all aspects of my life. There's a lot of pressure--particularly at this age--to go new places and see new things. Sure, summertime has my wanderlust in full swing, and I'm counting down the days 'til our family trip to Florida and seeing Merl in D.C. But, I'm becoming acutely aware that staying put can provide unique perspective as well.

Here are ten of the small steps I'm taking outside of my comfort zone that, together, have turned into exciting leaps towards new discoveries.

Little Liberty from the inside, 
one :: Discover beauty indoors as much as outdoors.
Perhaps I've been persuaded by my new position working under an interior designer, but so much of our lives take place inside.

So seek beauty within the walls while still savoring time spent outside of them.

two :: Ask people you know well new questions. 

Since our first anniversary, William and I have made a point to ask each other thought-provoking questions. En route to Austin to celebrate our third (how fitting!)  he described his love for city design.
new Rainey Street spot, The Parlor Room, stands out with neon pink signage
Our discussion made me realize it fascinated me, too -- which restaurants thrive, why certain shopping centers don't survive, and how best to blend where people work, play and live. I discovered something we shared.

three :: Ask people you don't know at all questions. 
On my last day with EY, I visited with a hotel clerk who said he'd always dreamt of becoming an accountant but decided he was called to missionary work instead. That plan was usurped when both his mother and grandmother grew ill. He told me this seemingly sad story with a smile on.

It convicted me as I had drawn my career path change decision out, weighing pros and cons of corporate versus creative. I discovered then that by overcomplicating the decision, I disguised a huge blessing: the option to choose.

four :: Go places through people. 
Spending time with Sarah, I lived through her travel adventures in Argentina.

The storytelling takes her back to South America and take me there.

five :: Appreciate things for what they're worth. 
I watched The Revenant recently.

I wouldn't say it's a new found favorite, but I did appreciate that it was like no film I had ever seen before.

six :: Switch spiritual places and/or practices. 
Too far from my family's church now, I've grown fond of the younger communities I've found in the beautiful church down the road from me and the intimate university chapel also nearby.

cieling in Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic church
I've also been mixing my prayer practices -- listening to preaching, journaling in the mornings and reading the Word at night.

seven :: Be with someone significantly older or younger than you. 

I've enjoyed my pastime at the Post Oak Little League fields this spring sitting in the stands watching William coach his youngest brother. The parents give me perspective for what the future looks like.

Watching Evan and Ana play on the playground make me pause and think about my time spent there in the past, performing flip flops in the grass paying no mind to the game going on. I discovered life does fly.

eight :: Experiment with the wardrobe you already have. 

I rarely don't like pairing denim and white, but altering this look just slightly give me a small sense of victory that I've reinvented my wardrobe's wheel.

I'm hoping my new Mi Golondrina top will serve me well for this summer and well into the future as I suspect it will be on heavy rotation.

nine :: Move your body differently. 

My 2015 resolution was to move -- remember?

I've stuck to it well into 2016 by switching it up (Barre class, running or biking the Bayou), making it a social affair, or energizing my day with it first thing or winding down with it in the evenings.

ten :: Make new friends, but keep the old.

I don't miss paying for parking or pings on Lync, but I miss my people at EY.

The relationships and memories I made remain with me even as I move onto new opportunities...and make new friends!

Someone compared my new adventure with my career switch to be like climbing a new mountain. These steps have shown me it's a lot like that, but it's not necessarily about getting to the top of it.

It's about making the most of your time spent on it and remembering that whatever direction you are led, to remain straight on the path toward discovery.