A wise person once told me that having access to a compass is way more important than just following the route on a map.
Most well-worn paths are made possible by the journeys of people who’ve gone before us, and though invaluable at times, they can leave us wondering… Are we meant to follow a found set of footsteps or is this the point where we decide to forge a new trip of our own.
I’ve been thinking a lot about journeys lately, because Gerard and I are so happy to announce that we are moving back to Southern California at the end of this summer!
We moved to the NYC-area almost four years ago, and I had NO idea that I would fall so head over heels for our little town of Hoboken, NJ. If we’ve ever met in real life, you’ve probably heard me go on and ON about how much we truly love living here, and even the thought of leaving gives me a pit in my stomach that will be hard to replace.
In a way, we’ve always known that the West Coast feels most like home, and that’s why it was so easy to say yes to an opportunity that came our way a few months ago.
Gerard has accepted an incredible position in downtown LA (so proud of him!), and we will be living just a little ways south of there in the same community that has become somewhat of our winter escape… We fell in love with Long Beach from the moment we first visited, and I seriously cannot wait to add a new city to my little pouch of places we’ve lived.
The bittersweet sense of our decision is currently being masked by my genuine excitement, but I know that when it comes time to leave, there will be a huge swell of sadness when we realize that this chapter of our life is over.
It has been funny to hear how curious people are when we tell them the news, and I’ve found myself feeling a little unsure when folks ask how my work might change and whether we’ll regret our decision to move away from the media & fashion hub that is NYC.
Each time I feel an expectation creep in from some external source, it feels a lot like someone is telling me which way they THINK that we should be going. That’s usually when taking stock of the motives behind our next step ends up being the most helpful.
That’s the thing about maps: We don’t ALWAYS know if we can trust them, right?
Have they been drawn to scale? Was the map-maker an idiot? Doesn’t it seem unlikely that someone else would be going to the exact same place that we are, AND happen to have our best interest in mind?
It’s so easy to blame the map when we get lost, and I’m guessing I’m not the only one who has felt the reeling spin from a GPS-navigation gone wrong. Most of us couldn’t live without them (including me!), but when it comes to personal decisions maps are better used for reference.
Back to the compasses, though. They are meant to tell us which way is which, and since most people have an idea of where they’d like to be headed, a working one will give you the information needed about which direction to go next.
The reason I love this metaphor is because it causes us to question the maps we’ve been handed, and to rely on using a compass to guide our steps instead.
In my eyes, that little compass stands for the set of values that guide our decisions and the beliefs that we build our plans upon. It can help us find our North Star when we’re lost (even on a cloudy night), and it uses the magnetic force to guide us back toward the best way to go.
Gerard and I are SO happy to be forging ahead in our lives together, and we are SO excited to keep sharing about our journey along the way. Of course, you’re always welcome to let me know if you have any questions, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on how a map + compass balance plays in to your own life!
Believe it or not: There is ONE more announcement to add to the mix, and you can hear it this Tuesday on our latest episode of Marriage is Funny…
Make sure that you’re subscribed on iTunes to be the first to know, and now I’m off to edit the final bits of our next show!
XOXO – Jessie Pepper
*Final image by Kat Harris