This wasn't what I had in mind

" why does it feel so right?"

Nearly one year ago to the day my friend - writer and communications consultant Amanda Hirsch - along with her husband and young daughter uprooted from their home in Brooklyn to resettle near their families in Washington, D.C. 

Nearly one year later to the day, they are moving back to New York City, and she's leaving her successful consulting business to return to corporate America.

I think I can speak for most of the readers of her blog, Having it Alt, that this wasn't what any of us had in mind for her either. After hearing her story, though, it makes perfect sense.

"From our first conversation, I felt a strong connection...and the more we talked, the more I felt this pull — this feeling of rightness. When they asked if I might consider a new full-time role they were creating, I said yes, I was open to that. It turns out, that role is pretty much made for me."

Today's LeapStory is about that feeling of rightness. What can feel like a never-ending uphill search that suddenly turns into the clearest, most comforting "Of Course" ever.

Amanda is not only a good friend, but also a fellow A-student-at-life. She knows what it's like to spend a whole lot of time and mental energy trying to make the right choice. We may have had more than one, two, five intense conversations wondering: Is this it? Or, is this? How will you know for sure?!?

Then, as most of us have experienced and Amanda just did this week, the right choice walks up and taps you on the shoulder, and all of that wondering fades away as if it was never really that hard to figure out. It doesn't matter that this wasn't what I had in mind. The clarity of an answer can feel so good we just run at it full speed without looking back.

But that look back is instrumental to every future leap and to making the most of this right one that just found you. Here's a quick assignment.

Remember a feeling of rightness from your present or past. How you knew the right college for you (I saw a gorgeous tree with low hanging branches in the center of campus, and my gut said yes), the right partner, the right city... Next, write down:

  • How did you feel before, when you didn't know and were trying so hard to figure it out?
  • What was the moment when You Knew? That feeling of rightness and shoulder tap. Where were you, what happened, what was the feeling inside? Capture every detail.
  • How did this feeling of rightness set in motion more things falling into place?

Because that happens, too. Suddenly you know the direction to go in and people, ideas, opportunities open up in front of you. Keep the answers to these questions somewhere special, so the next time you're searching for the right answer they can remind you not to work so hard, asking everyone for their opinions. You will know.

Here's to the feeling of rightness finding you today, like it has for Amanda. In case it comes tomorrow instead, may her words help in the meantime:

"My mantra these days, as I share news of this major life change with family and friends, is, 'Life is weird.' It really is! Weird and wonderful in its ability to surprise us — and beautiful, in how it provides space for us to continue to surprise ourselves."