Trusting the Next Step

This morning, I woke up way too early and couldn’t go back to sleep. Insomnia isn’t a frequent visitor, thank God, but when she visits, I feel like something that accidentally got put into the dryer with the laundry. My brain starts flailing and banging around with no escape.

Why did she come this week? Because I have two kids in college, and two months ago in June, I quit my teaching job. But I waited until yesterday to finally turn in my keys to the high school, closing that door.

This morning, insomnia was not so gently screaming, “What have you DONE, you idiot?!?”

I’ve never been a particularly religious person though I have gone to church sporadically throughout my life. But sitting with my husband for months in the ICU in the fall of 2015 when he was so sick, watching the miracle of his healing, and getting through that whole trauma flung the door to trust wide open.

When we were in the middle of it, people would ask me, “How are you getting through this?” My answer was moment by moment. I had to live in the present moment because in the present moment, Gary was alive. I didn’t know what the next five minutes would bring, so I didn’t go there. I had to stay present and totally trusting.

But at 3:30 this morning, my brain was having no part of any of that “present moment/trust” BS. Instead, she wanted to know why I had thrown a perfectly good and stable job out the window for a total unknown?

I had to recall another of my lessons from the ICU – worry is merely making up a fantasy of something terrible happening, believing in the fantasy, and then having an emotional reaction to it.

Worry is insomnia’s bestie. I’ve unfriended them both, but they’re like trolls, hiding underneath bridges to scare me in the night. And in the darkness, all those fears seem so much bigger.

Until I can work my way to the flip side of the terror, which is joy. The excitement of letting go, and trusting that I’ll find my path.

I’ve known for awhile that it was time to leave the classroom, but it wasn’t until this spring, sitting with my dad, who had a strong and abiding faith as he faced the end of his life, that I got the courage to trust my gut and more so in God (or universe/source/whatever you call it), that moving forward now, into something new and different was the right decision.

Since I left school, my work days are undefined other than how I structure them, the complete opposite of teaching school in which every moment is planned.

Now my days are open for me to not only listen to my gut and my guidance but to also act on them (despite what insomnia chants at me in the early morning hours). And happily, it’s working. My days are full of website design work with amazing clients, and I’m also getting back to my own writing which feels amazing.

But more than anything, the best lesson is that if I trust, if I follow my guidance that comes from something bigger than me, when I’m not all wrapped up in ego and making decisions on my own, I’m shown one step at a time. I don’t know where each step will lead, and I’ve learned that I don’t need to. None of us do. The only thing we need is that little bit of trust to listen to those nudges inside and then take one step in that direction.

I’m sharing this not to encourage people to quit their jobs or to take a leap that they’re not ready for, but to take one step, a baby step, toward becoming who you are and what you want to do and trusting that that one baby step is perfectly safe.

For me, that step was picking up a pen five years ago and starting to write again. This was after I had a dream about it – yes, I’ve learned to embrace the woo-woo side of me.

It’s funny how the universe nudges us, but the fun really starts happening when we listen, trust that guidance, and take a step.

End note – posting this is HARD, way harder than I thought. My Dad was always the first to comment on these blog posts and my biggest fan when it came to my writing. Maybe that’s why I’m back after a LONG hiatus from this blog. He’s nudging me now. Love you Dad. And I’m missing you like crazy right now.


  1. Claire 'Word by Word' on August 19, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    So glad you’re back, it’s a wonderful lesson that, to learn to surrender, to be ok with not knowing the ending, but knowing you’re doing what you need to do to move towards it. Your stories are calling you to tell them and your readers are waiting patiently. Bonne Courage Amy.

    • Amy Isaman on August 20, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      Ahh, me too, Claire. I’m actually reading fiction again and writing. Those were the first two things to “go” when life got stressful which is kind of weird when I think about it because they’re both such escapes for me. I think maybe quieting myself was too hard – easier to keep busy, keep going, without taking the time to sit with everything. Hmmmm – I think you just inspired another post!! 🙂 I Never really thought about that before quite like that.

      • Claire 'Word by Word' on August 21, 2017 at 12:26 am

        That reminds me too that while we are in a period of reflection, we often require something different to absorb. I had a period of not reading fiction earlier this year while doing a personal mastery course, which required a daily meditation and journalling and so when I read, I wanted something more spiritually uplifting, I was a little concerned that I had no appetite for fiction, however, it was just that I had a different intention and I was subconsciously respecting it by altering what reading or listening material I absorbed. I look forward to your next post! ✨?

  2. myworldmyeyesmywords on August 19, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Dearest Amy, It is with heartfelt joy I respond to your message/blog. I will be one of your most fanatical supporters when you write. Your writing stirs my heart.

    I so often wake very early on the weekends when I DONT have to. But creating value of all our waking moments and hours is our mission in life. Sometimes creating value is using time to do nothing productive but is something that soothes our soul. My love affair with Montana helps me often when I wake early and just sit outside.

    You have worn many hats in your life already and now you have a new one. With bling on the bill and in your favorite color, stride earnestly on your new path of freedom. That freedom is the new found ability to NOT plan every moment but your mission is still to enjoy and wallow in your trust, your love, your confidence, your challenges….(I could keep on and on…)

    You all know I am bad at keeping in touch but know I love you all very much.

    Rebecca ________________________________

    • Amy Isaman on August 19, 2017 at 12:18 pm

      Thank you so much Rebecca. It’s the quiet spaces that allow us to figure it all out but our culture doesn’t always value that. It’s so noisy sometimes. I’m so glad to have more time for those and thankful that I can create a life with them in it.
      Love you too!!

  3. Jerri Thatcher on August 19, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    I love where your thoughts and talents are taking you, and yes your dad is nudging and encouraging you every step of the way. Me too. I love you Amy. Blessings from your bonus mom.

    • Amy Isaman on August 20, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      I know he is. This post was a tough one to post – not to write but to actually hit “publish” and know that he wouldn’t read it and be the first to reply/respond (because he was always the first! I love you too.

  4. Sharon Rosse on August 19, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    I admire your generosity and your insightfulness. And, I love you.

    • Amy Isaman on August 20, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      Love you too, Mom. Thank you.

  5. Susan on August 19, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Beautiful reminder. And for some of us, it showed up at the perfect time.

    • Amy Isaman on August 20, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      Oh, I’m so glad to hear that. You posted something a few years ago after losing a loved one. I don’t remember the exact post, but I vividly remember thinking that I felt like you wrote it specifically for me on that day.

      I just finished novel #3 – still plugging away over here! I really want to self-pub #1 this fall. It’s time. Are you still writing at all?

  6. debramae on August 19, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Go Amy…You are an inspiration and I am embracing your sentiment with Gratitude!

    • Amy Isaman on August 20, 2017 at 1:28 pm

      Thank you Debra Mae. Life is such an interesting journey, isn’t it?

  7. Susan Williamson on August 19, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Great piece Amy, you would make your Dad proud. I think part of “the powers of the universe” that guide you include him, critiquing as you write. I hear a little “Dan” humor in there! Keep up the good work!

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    • Amy Isaman on August 20, 2017 at 1:25 pm

      Thanks Susie!! He always loved to read what I wrote and gave me super great feedback. I bawled yesterday when I posted this. I didn’t cry when I put it on my FB biz page, but I did cry when I put it here. He’s my writing angel now, but I wish he was still here to comment and talk about stuff. I know you miss that too.

  8. Geralyn Jones on August 19, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    It was so wonderful to see you tonight. They say life is like a roller coaster – a cliche I am not inclined to agree with. To me it is more like a slip and slide; or a quasi chutes and ladders. You understand the concept. You have lived it these past few years. Your ability to maneuver words into a visual masterpiece is enviable. Do what you love to do. I hope to connect with you again to read your works and encourage you forward as you make your dreams a reality.

    • Amy Isaman on August 20, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      It was great seeing you too, Geralyn. I’m so glad you found my blog too, so we can re-connect!! I just finished novel #3 this morning and sent it off to an editor for a dev. edit. I’d like to start querying it in the next few weeks. We’ll see how it goes. I’m going to self-publish novel #1 this fall. It’s time to get these stories out there!

  9. Shanee on August 21, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Lovely to have your voice arrive in my inbox again Amy! You capture so much in this post. Love the nudges and happy to hear about where listening to them has brought you. Not that it’s ever an easy ride, as your past years are a testament to. Hoping for some settled time of reading and writing for you, and I look forward to reading your novels!! xx

    • Amy Isaman on August 22, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      I feel the same way when your poems land in my inbox, Shanee. I’m looking forward to some settled time as well. Today, all of the teachers went back to work without me, and I didn’t have even the littlest twinge of regret. It felt really good. Thank you for your kind words. I’m hoping to get a novel out there SOON.

      How’s your writing going?

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