Yesterday I took a spontaneous walk in the woods, and it gave me tremendous clarity regarding my own readiness to change. I have felt stagnant since my grandmother, my primary maternal influence growing up, died almost two years ago. I regained a lot of weight grief-eating in her absence and it would seem that I have been stuck ever since. As I was breathlessly shifting branches and stepping over fallen trees I thought, frustrated, “Dear God! When is this ever going to get better?” I looked down and there was a leaf directly in my path. It was orange and yellow and seemingly on fire. Slowly, I assessed my surroundings. Everything else was still green. The canopy was green, the grass was green, all of it- green. I picked the leaf up and the words “you’re ready” came to me instantly. It felt like a sign. The leaf was “ready” for autumn to begin, so to speak, and I am “ready” for change.
I’ve heard many, many, many women say, “It’s a sign!” Oftentimes, it’s a sentiment that is used rather carelessly and with nonchalance. Other times, it seems like women are looking so desperately for a sign that they insist ordinary events or normal everyday occurrences hold deeper meaning. I probably sound like a skeptic now, so let me clarify something. I do believe in signs, I just wouldn’t necessarily say that they are “commonplace.” I’ve had them before, but they are few and far between. For example, after my grandma died I had a few dreams with her in them. My whole family was in them too, conversing with each other, but I was the only one who could see Audrey. She was cradling a baby boy in a rocking chair in the corner. She looked right at me, smiled, and put a finger over her lips in a “shhh’ing” motion. She was taking care of this infant in a few dreams thereafter. I later found out that my mother had miscarried. She would have had a son.
That being said, I stubbornly lifted my chin and thought, “Fine, God, I’ll believe that this is a sign if there isn’t a single other leaf like it.” I scooped the leaf up, turned around, and began the journey back to my car. I walked through miles of trees, and not a single other leaf had even begun to change. So, as you have probably already concluded, I really believe it was a small but uncannily well-timed sign. Do I think this means I’m suddenly going to feel motivated all day every day? No. But I do think it means that I am finally ready for some progress. I want to do a September challenge, but I don’t want it to be a “weight loss challenge.” I am going to make September a 30-day mental health challenge. I will be posting a list of 30 things I am going to accomplish next month in the very near future.