My friend Michele has a theory, a theory born of long and entangled romantic experience. In a nutshell, it goes: “When you’re going to leave them, they know.”
It occurs when you reach what Michelle calls escape velocity. As she puts it, “There’s this time for blast-off, like a NASA space launch, and you’re heading for [what you want] when wham, you draw to you the Test.”
“Yeah. The Test. It’s like when you’re all set to marry the nice guy, the one who treats you right, and Mr. Poison gets wind of it and phones you up. … The whole trick is to evade the Test. We all draw to us the one test that’s our total nemesis. Think about it. You’re all set to go to the Coast on an important business trip and your husband suddenly needs you for no real reason … You’re all set to leave the bad job and the boss from hell suddenly gives you your first raise in five years … Don’t be fooled. Don’t be fooled.”
- Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way
Blast off = falling in love, starting a company, quitting, signing the contract, making the first move, moving away, committing to a long distance relationship, painting again, buying the plane ticket, starting the race. We all have our rocket launchers pointed towards different goals. When we are about to achieve that goal, our energy changes and draws in the Test. And if the Test doesn’t come to us, we make sure to find it anyway.
We call our loving parents to hear “Do you really think you should commit to him right now?”
We go to the physio to hear “You may not be able to bike with this knee.”
We create our own doubt that asks us “what if this all goes wrong?”
Sometimes all I need to do to (finally) complete that goal is identify my Test as just that, the Test.
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