“You are a mighty manifestation machine!”

This is what my friend Nadia said to me one time a couple years ago, after we were discussion all that life had brought my way. Until the last few years, I didn’t realize how strong of a force believing things into being, or “asking the Universe” could be.

I realize there are other factors working to my advantage here (environment being the most obvious one), and I know that my being able to start from a safe, comfortable place is a privilege and a blessing. These are not foreign ideas for me.

Still, my thirties have found me much more introspective, trying to find out “what it all means.” I feel very Rob Gordon from High Fidelity, trying to figure out where I’m going and what caused me to be the person I am, although romantically, I’m ahead of the curve. (Marrying your best friend, for the win!)

I’ve touched before how 2014 and 2015 were really rough for me. I was struggling with many things, and just didn’t feel like myself. I was, in fact, a Debbie downer. But thankfully, things finally started to turn around last year. My gray fog lifted. I wasn’t so angry anymore. I cried less often, and laughed more. I had enormous opportunities with my last company that helped me realize my full career potential, and I had some amazing things happen in the start of this year that I believe, I can credit to a lot of hard work, both from me and the Universe.

Over a span of just a few weeks, I applied for–and accepted–a part-time job at the Wild Birds Unlimited store near my house.

I also applied for–and accepted–a new full-time role as Marketing Manager with a software design and development firm called Digital Scientists.

Lastly, but certainly not least, I decided to free myself of the shackles of should and allow myself the opportunity to participate in a week-long writing and yoga retreat in Italy in June. Not just any retreat, but a retreat led by the insightful, talented, no-bullshit writer and mentor, Jennifer Pastiloff. I’m taking a week for myself, flying into Rome and spending the week at a villa outside of Siena.

Italy is a magical place; a healing place. I don’t think I quite realized how profoundly my time there in college changed me until the opportunity to go back was even a glimmer of possibility. The announcement of my trip to family has been met with unbelievable support, both financially and otherwise. A younger, more bullshit-filled version of myself may have waxed and waned about how “it’s not a good idea,” and “it’s selfish,” and “you won’t know anyone,” but I’m pretty proud of my almost-33-year-old self saying, “to hell with all that. I’m going and I’m looking forward to it.” The super-awesome writer Jen Sincero wrote, “Deciding is freedom. Indecision is torture.” I made the decision, and instead of talking myself out of going, I made steps to make affording the trip a reality.

Enter the part-time job at WBU, which came along serendipitously. After talking to Oscar about my desire to go on the trip and after we’d decided together that it was happening, I realized I would need a way to earn extra cash, and what better way to earn it than by spending the weekends talking to other bird-crazy folks about attracting bluebirds and keeping the squirrels at bay? So I reached out to the owner and offered my weekends, and she graciously accepted.

My new opportunity with Digital Scientists was a result of many things. A desire for growth. A frustration from the stagnation I was feeling in my old role. Most of all though, it was a test. A test to see if I could prove to myself I was capable of more, and I was. And I am.

I’m just shy of three weeks in, and I come home electrified by my work. I haven’t felt this excited to be a part of something amazing in a long time. The digital landscape is constantly shifting, and I get to be a part of it.

I. get. to. be. a part. of. it.

Lookout, Universe. I’m here to level-up my realm of possibility, and I’m coming for you.