Let love guide you

8th January 2013

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A few months ago I wrote about my sudden urge to visit Los Angeles. The pull propelled me to immediately book a ticket and the serendipitous trip led me to pack up two suitcases and move from the mountains in Boulder to the beach in Marina del Rey. What I neglected to share in that post was the main reason why I felt called there. 

A calling, according to Google dictionary, is “a strong urge toward a particular way of life…” If we listen, we may have hundreds of callings over the course of our lives, each providing the chance to experience an aspect of what makes us come alive.

The way callings typically show up for me is in the form of a soft and persistent whisper. An aspect of my life where growth is ready to emerge will show up in my journal, in my daydreams, in conversations with friends, and in random dialogues with strangers too. Then, in what feels out-of-the-blue, will be some seemingly unusual urge. I’ve learned to listen and take action on these pulls as they typically lead to a whole new realm of possibility, and a path I couldn’t have imagined months prior.

In late August, after my heart mended from the pain of a summer romance ending, the notion of love was still very top-of-mind. Though love may seem like an obvious priority for a soon-to-be-27-year-old-woman, it wasn’t something I spent much time thinking about. In fact, before Mr. Summer Love, and outside of a few short-term romances that had no legs, I was pretty much on a four-year non-dating streak. So the fact that the possibilities around love seemed to dominate my thoughts and conversations took me by surprise.

For years I would hear from family and strangers alike, “Why are you single?” The answer was always obvious: First I need to follow my dreams and work on me; the rest will follow. People didn’t seem to understand but I was okay with that. Inner conviction, deep trust, and the fear of getting hurt in love (which I refused to admit to myself and others at the time) carried me and my ambitions forward.

But something felt different in August. For the first time in my life, the prospect of BIG love made my heart sing more than the business opportunities emerging around me. Mr. Summer Love, albeit short-lived, opened my wary heart and encouraged me to be vulnerable. Through the ups-and-downs of his wavering desire to be in a relationship, I gained inner strength and my view of commitment shifted. It no longer felt like something that would either chain me down or break my heart. Instead, feeling unattached to outcomes, it became a beautiful possibility and opportunity for personal growth.

With this new worldview and a strong intuition that Boulder was not my place for love, I set off to Los Angeles—the most unlikely place for romance, per 98% of people I spoke with. But low odds have served me well in the past and something about that 2% felt right. Plus, I’ve learned that so long as I make decisions from the heart, the outcome never really matters.

In Los Angeles, I seemed to stumble into the prospect of love everywhere I went. Singing skateboarders chased me as I biked down Venice Beach. Men courted me in Whole Foods. A man asked for my number in the Emergency Room as I sported an allergic reaction all over my body. More men asked me out in one week than my ten months of living in Boulder. Love was certainly in the air.

But random dates and random men didn’t appeal to me. Conventional dating wisdom says to put yourself out there but taking up Mr. Whole Foods or Mr. ER didn’t feel right. Flattered and with a big smile, I politely declined.

Ten days into Los Angeles living, Bold Academy 2.0 planning took me to San Francisco. My first day back in the city, I stopped by a live/work experiment that’s gathering the world’s leading thinkers, innovators, and entrepreneurs. I had gotten to know the co-founders pretty well over the previous few months and it had become a regular stop when I was in town. But this visit was different. Very different.

When I walked into the house, I locked eyes with Farhad, the co-founder I felt closest to. He was making an espresso across the room. In that moment, it felt like time stopped. My body felt energetically pulled toward him. “Woah,” I thought to myself. “That was unexpected.” I smiled and greeted him with a big hug. The unexpected greeting turned into an even more unexpected next few days.

What was scheduled to be a quick three-day trip turned into Farhad convincing me to stay for eleven. He was helping me navigate some Bold planning and negotiations, and the extra time would enable us to make a few critical milestones happen. Business talk turned into late-night walks in the rain and heart-to-hearts on the beach. Every second with him felt magical.

“But is he into me?” I asked close guy friends over tacos and spicy margaritas, gushing with details about our adventures and conversations to-date.

“Is the sky blue?” Gino asked.

“This sounds like a Jane Austen romance novel,” Kyle said. “Of course he’s interested.”

“But why hasn’t he let me know?” I asked.

“Be patient,” Gino said.

Patience has never been my strong suit. I want something, I go after something. I want to live somewhere, I figure out how. I have an idea, I take action and find answers. I can be assertive and relentless. But with Farhad, I observed my natural desire to be, enjoy, and soak up every second rather than live in the state of doing. With him, I felt effervescent and graceful, grounded and feminine. I felt like I had known him for years. Soon enough, my patience paid off. (Or, since we’ve established that I have no patience, my curiosity was answered.)

"So, I think it’s about time that I ask you on an official date," Farhad said coyly as we walked to Nopa for an evening drink.

I replied nonchalantly, “I think I can handle that,” saving my jumping up and down for later.

Fast-forward to today. I’m now living in San Francisco with Farhad. Side-by-side, we’re planning our futures together, building our businesses, and soaking each other up. I always dreamed of having a “partner-in-crime” with whom to explore my life, and this partner is beyond what I could have imagined. (Pinch me.)

A few weeks ago, when Farhad and I FaceTimed with my Grandma on Christmas, I witnessed my Gram shed a tear of joy that we’ve found each other. I cannot remember the last time (if ever) that I’ve seen Gram cry. It was in that moment that I realized how meaningful family approval is when it comes to your partner.

Two days ago she emailed me to say, “I am so excited for you both and your future together. I know he is special because you chose him and he is special because he chose you! I knew you would wait long enough to find your true soul mate.” I couldn’t have summed it up better myself.

So as I ring in the New Year, my resolutions are less focused on what I will accomplish this year. Instead, I’m focused on cultivating what I’ve begun to realize is the most important thing in the world: love.
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Thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert and Farhad for inspiring this post and Farhad, Julia, Melissa and Nate for reading the draft. 
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37 Notes

  1. lal0711 reblogged this from heyamberrae and added:
    Durks shared this with me last year….still love this bloggers post!
  2. anpanism said: oops I misread your post. Congratulations! (and sorry abt the other post there).
  3. christiessilverlining said: How wonderful! I’m so happy you found such joy and love.
  4. bbunnybelless reblogged this from heyamberrae and added:
    Hmm…
  5. scarlettwerewolf said: Thank you for your honesty! You have articulated so much that I have gone through, am going through, and I needed to hear all of this, today.
  6. giapty reblogged this from heyamberrae
  7. heyamberrae posted this