Photo: Beccah Baskin
Meet Rebekah, a quarterlette from Kansas who had the guts to read the signs and take a (strong) hint from the universe that it was time for a change. She moved across the country with nothing but a few suitcases and faith that the universe had a plan. Sounds like a good story, right? Luckily for us Rebekah just wrote a book all about it. Below she talks about her story and after reading that, be sure to pick up Just a Girl from Kansas: One Woman’s Dreams are Ant-sized Compared to What Lay Ahead.
Growing up I heard the expression, “Opportunity only knocks once,” and I really took it to heart. I took advantage of every opportunity that came my way because I was scared it would slip away like a snowflake melting in the sun. Except as we know, snowflakes melt but they come back. Very rarely will it snow once and that’s it forever and always. Snowflakes are like opportunities in that they come around again if we only wait for them.
Reverend Michael Bernard Beckwith has a quote, “Opportunity doesn’t knock once – it will beat down your door!” When I heard him say that I started to laugh because I certainly found it to be the case for me. If something is meant to be the universe will make darn sure you get the message and will create situations for you to take advantage of that opportunity.
As a freshman in college I attended UNC-Chapel Hill. It was a bad decision, not because Carolina is a horrible school, but because I didn’t fit there. Forcing myself to go to Carolina was like forcing an 8-year-old to eat canned spinach – it can be done but it’s not very pretty. I toyed with the idea of going to UC Berkeley because it seemed more my scene – full of vegetarians, hippies, and spiritual seekers – but ultimately decided to go to American University in Washington, D.C. instead.
I loved Washington, D.C. and decided to stay there after graduation. It’s a small city in terms of size but big in terms of what it has to offer. I had a large contingent of friends there (still do) and even managed to score a great apartment on Wisconsin Avenue, which meant I could gaze at the National Cathedral from my living room window. The National Cathedral is to this day one of my favorite places in the world primarily because it has a piece of the moon embedded in a stain glass window. So life was pretty good, only, I hated my job. Like, really hated my job. Like, complained-every-day-and-dreaded-waking- up-in-the-morning hated it. This was no fault of the company or the people. It was another case of canned spinach – great for some people but distasteful for me.
I had every intention of quitting and finding something else in the area, except opportunity came a knockin’ – or in this case stampeding.
I really have no idea why but while at a yoga and meditation retreat I talked to one of the participants about his hometown, San Francisco. That conversation planted a bug in my ear and I found myself contemplating moving to San Francisco. I immediately decided it was a terrible idea because I didn’t know anybody and like I said, life was pretty good for me in Washington, D.C., but the universe doesn’t give up that easily. The very minute I said, “Nah, I’ll stick around in D.C.,” I saw someone reading the Yoga Journal, a magazine based in San Francisco and one I aspired to work for. It startled me because seeing this woman reading her magazine felt like a sign, as innocuous as it was.
However, I still wasn’t convinced moving to San Francisco was in my best interest. Of course, from then on San Francisco became ubiquitous. While walking down the street in D.C., I saw San Francisco hats, San Francisco t-shirts. I met people left and right who were from San Francisco. One day as I passed a vegetarian restaurant I heard the outdoor diners talking about San Francisco. OK! Enough! I get the message!
When something shows up that many times it can’t be ignored. Opportunity was beating down my door. So I finally said, “OK, I’ll do it.” Except I didn’t have a job, or a place to live, or even a plan really. What transpired was the most terrifying, ridiculous, and glorious experience of my life to date.