Cabin in NovaScotia

4 am Sign Posts

For those who know me closely, you know that I’ve felt like Nova Scotia has been kicking my ass. I’ve experienced a culmination of setbacks: professional, personal relationships, health and family.

This was dragging me down on the weekend and keeping me awake. After a well-rehearsed podcast-audiobook-bowlofcereal-journaling-getupandread-turnbeddingupsidedown, I finally cycled back to podcast. By this time, it was four am.

4 am, in my opinion, is the worst. Any hope for the following day has dissipated, and things get dark. Someone could deliver me a puppy and my 4 am goggles would likely morph the fur ball into a demon from the edges of hell itself.

Because of this, I opted for my last resort when it comes to countering the 4 am demons: Oprah. And, in classic Oprah style, Oprah delivered up the perfect podcast for this moment: Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations: Produced by Faith.

Now, I won’t do the episode justice in a summary, so I will let you listen on your own. What I will share is the lesson that I received from this podcast.

We don’t make our own paths, and when we wander off the path, there will be many detours to lead us back.

The narrative I have been telling myself is, figuratively, “why do the same crappy things keep happening?” which then leads to internalizing, self-blame and shame.

But when I think about this as a literal question, it flipped the script. Why? Perhaps because I have been to blind to see that these same occurrences are lessons and yet I keep pushing through the undergrowth, so far off my own path, trying to get to the path I think I should be on. I keep getting smacked in the face by branches that I see as setbacks. But maybe they are actually signposts pointing me towards a better way, and yet, through the forest I see a busy road, the one everyone else seems to be on and I keep pushing-on in that direction.

So, I thought about what signs I might be ignoring.

Now, this is a very vulnerable thing for me to share. It seems presumptuous to try to predict something that is very unknown and well above my head. But, my very best guess is that the sign I am ignoring is that I am meant to be writing.

This year I received the call I have been waiting for my entire adult life: a publisher called to tell me they liked my story idea and would like to publish my book about small structures in Nova Scotia. I cried, smiled and told close friends and family.

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And yet, I have been too afraid to jump for joy or run towards it, feelings of distraction and unworthiness overshadowing the fact that this is a really frickin big deal.

So, now, internet, I am telling you. I am storyteller. Maybe this is my life’s path, or maybe not. But either way, I am going to start walking this path, no matter how uphill it gets, because, it’s better than trudging through the brambles and rot towards a destiny that doesn’t belong to me.

Over the next few months, I will be sharing my journey as I travel the province capturing stories about small structures (buildings) for my book . Follow me on Instagram (sorry Twitter, you’re too much work) to follow my adventures.

Most importantly, if you know of someone who has a small building, camp, hut, art space or tiny home, get in touch! I might be able to include them in my book!

PS: Thanks Oprah!

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©Jessie Hannah 2019