Navigating life well is realizing that our journey is a divine mixture of wisdom and wonder; logic and faith; opportunity and serendipity; love and loss. Some parts of our journey require us to surrender to the unknown, while other parts demand that we move our feet in faith.
I wish there was a magic formula for knowing when to tap into the finest parts of our humanity or to rise into our innate divinity. But the best we can do is to always continue to MOVE in the direction of our DREAMS. –Leah Lakins
For years, I stood on the edge of my dreams because I listened to other people’s fears. I can’t begin to count how many people told me how hard, expensive, aggressive, noisy, and overwhelming New York would be. I can’ tell you how many conversations I had filled with phrases like, “Why would you leave a “good job” to risk living in New York?” or simply, “Girl, you’re better than me. Good luck with that.” Every single time I visited New York over the years, my spirit ALWAYS resonated and said, “This is where you need to be.” But instead of listening, I would fall back into the comfort of complacency and let another year roll by with my heart’s desires unfulfilled.
365 days later, I have to say that there is something absolutely magical, outstanding, and downright finger-licking good about looking back at my life and realizing that I’ve stood toe to toe with my greatest fears and made my dreams happen on my own terms. Being able to look myself square in the eye today and proudly say, “Baby girl, we rocked the hell out of 2014!” is a joy that only my heart can explain.
As I writer, I feel like I should be able to write a whole encyclopedia about what this first year of living out my dream has been, but instead I will simply borrow a phrase from my fellow Brooklyn brethren, the Notorious BIG, and sum up my 2014 in one word—
Biggie’s “Unbelievable” is my favorite pop-in-my-earplugs and get-ready-and-get-hype jam whenever I am traveling on the Subway. I’ve made my own remix to this song and instead of saying, “Biggie Smalls is the illest” during the chorus, I’ve conveniently changed that to “Leah Lakins is the illest.” And seemingly without fail, every time I step out of a promising editorial meeting or meet another great New Yorker, all I can say is, “God, this is simply UNBELIEVABLE! All it takes is me believing in you AND me for this to happen??? Well, we gotta try this again tomorrow!” And I have to say that I’ve been in absolute AWE that almost every tomorrow in 2014 has been filled with so many blessings and opportunities that have gone so far beyond any vision I’ve ever had for my life.
The greatest lesson that I have taken away from this year is understanding that my life begins with my BELIEFS. If I believe I can, I will. I say I can do it, I it gets done. When I do the work to believe in ME, I now give God the license to take my faith and make my dreams even more unbelievable.
I’m now looking over the edge at 2015 with an abundance of gratitude and a teaspoon of fear. The fear says, “Leah, 2014 has been like your personal Haley’s comet—rare and once in a lifetime. There’s no way you can expect to have ANOTHER great year like this one.” But then big, bold, bodacious, bad-ass Leah has to kick in and let the fear know that great dreams don’t die, they only multiply!
As we wind down 2014 and prepare our hearts and minds for 2015, don’t just settle for the ordinary—create goals and dreams that are EXTRAORDINARY. And don’t just get comfortable with desires that only your eyes can see. Shoot for the moon and make sure that your life is absolutely, undoubtedly, and astonishingly UNBELIEVABLE.
Cheers to a HEALTHY, HAPPY, LOVE-FILLED and UNBELIEVABLE 2015!!