I’m Coming Out!

By April 2, 2013Being the Change

Remember that awesome Diana Ross song from 1980, “I’m Coming Out?” I distinctly remember 70’s Disco music making a consistent appearance in my early childhood–that and Barry White. Looks like my parents were groovin’ clear into the 80’s!

The lyrics go a little something like this:

There’s a new me coming out
And I just had to live
And I want to give
I’m completely positive
I think this time around
I am gonna do it
Like you never do it
Like you never knew it
Oh, I’ll make it through

The time has come for me
To break out of the shell
I have to shout
That I’m coming out!

5 months ago, I took a huge leap towards living a life I love, and it changed everything. As I made my way sailing through Mexico and climbing through Panamanian jungles, I couldn’t help but think, “Oh wow! Life can be like this!” 

I felt like I had discovered the world’s most precious and sacred secret–like I had been to the other side and had to get back to share with everyone what I had found!

Mexico Waters -- Photo by Don Laverty

Mexico Waters — Photo by Don Laverty

My travels and then my emergency appendectomy in Panama made it all that much clearer: we have this life once. It’s up to us to choose how we create it, who we spend our precious time with, and what gives our lives purpose and meaning.

Now’s the Time

Steve Jobs said in his graduation speech at Stanford, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Throughout my 20’s I have trusted my heart, my intuition, my gut. It led me to places I never thought I’d go including volunteer teaching in rural Hunan province, working on a ranch in Montana, and moving to San Francisco with a little over $1,000, a place to stay for a month, and no job during the 2009 recession.

Food fight with one of my favorite students, Jordan

Food fight with one of my favorite students, Jordan

At the time, I didn’t know why I was choosing such huge out-of-the-norm leaps, but I knew that it was the right thing for me to do. It was scary and unnerving at times to completely trust the unknown over and over again, but it always worked out.

Looking back, I’m starting to see how the dots connect. I didn’t know it until recently, but I was preparing for my purpose. Each experience, culture, religion, job, and language I learned gave me a profound insight into multiple perspectives on life. Each person I met showed me that although we’re different, we’re united and connected if we open our hearts to that truth.

I recently updated the About Page and added a “Who am I?” page on the site. In both places, I voice what is in my heart of hearts and why I continue to write and expand this blog.

Photo by Vanessa Hellmann | www.vanessamona.com

Photo by Vanessa Hellmann | www.vanessamona.com

What makes you come alive?

I ask this question in the new “About” section because I love the quote from my fellow Boston University alum, Howard Thurman:

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

What makes me come alive? My profound love of humanity. Specifically connecting with people on a global scale–hiking up mountains to share a meal in rural China with people who have never seen a foreigner, talking for three hours about a Norwegian man’s passion for making coffee in Berlin while in the jungles of Panama, or chatting with little Diego, the Hot Tub Ambassador, in Mexico.

I’m months away from turning 30 and my heart, my gut, my intuition are now telling me, it’s time “to break out of my shell” and step fully into who I came here to be. So in that spirit, I’m leaving for Asheville shortly to finish writing my first book and then will be headed back on my round-the-world adventure in June!

I would love to hear from you–what are some times in your life when you followed your intuition? How did it work out? 


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