“Wow, that was perfect timing.” It’s a refrain I hear often. Though life has its struggles, I can say without a doubt that I am blessed and things always have a way of working out. During one of my favorite sermons, my pastor talked about doors opening as you get closer to where you need to be. He offered the example of automatic sliding doors. As you approach, the door is clearly closed, the door doesn’t even have a handle for you to pull, but when you stay on the path, the door will open. I’d say I’m pretty good at staying on my path, but I’d also like to think that I’m pretty good at reading signs.

Last year I moved to New York for the second time. I’d left the Big Apple the year before to help care for my Pops knowing that I would get back to the hustle when the time was right. Some time in the spring, the stars aligned. My teaching contract was over and my old position in NYC opened up. I hopped on the plane and pressed play on the Harlem world I’d paused for Oakland. I felt like good timing, being on the right path, and reading the signs had all paid off.

But the signs are not always clear and they aren’t always signs. Right before my one-year anniversary of being a New Yorker, I hit my hometown for vacay. My stint at a glossy unexpected ended days before I board the plane, so I was excited to spend more than a week in The Town. Two weeks turned to three weeks. Three weeks turned to four. A few job offers in NY fell through. A few job offers at home were placed on the table. Were these signs that I was supposed to stay?

Ultimately, I had to make a decision. Going back to New York was starting to feel like a distant dream and I had to figure out if I was going to chase it. Meditating for clarity was the only thing I could think to do. That and talk to my girls. “Sometime it’s not about signs,” one of my closest friends offered, “it’s about deciding.” I felt like Santiago in The Alchemist. I should be able to recognize the omens, but I shouldn’t depend on them. It was time to do some old-fashioned weighing of pros and cons. It was time to get down to the core of what I really wanted and pay attention to how I truly felt.

I made a few calls and found a spot in Brooklyn. We’ll see what happens.

How do you know if you’re making the right decision? Do you fight or follow the signs?

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