It had been three months since I’d quit my corporate job, and while tremendous progress had been made—I’d regained my faith in myself, remembered what actually brought me joy and had discovered what I wanted to do with my life—I had hit a wall. “I know I want to work in the wellness world,” I told my friend Ben. All I ever wanted to do was read self-help books and dissect human behavior. Might as well do it for a living, I’d realized. “But what’s the next step?”
I’d been on a path of radically trusting my gut. If I had a ping, one of those quick moments of intuition that come in a flash and disappear just as quickly, I’d know it was the Universe sending me a sign and rush to fulfill its request or act on its clue. Bewildered but far from hopeless, I was waiting for my next ping, which I hoped would lead me to an answer. The Universe didn’t let me down.
I’d been on a path of radically trusting my gut. If I had a ping, one of those quick moments of intuition that come in a flash and disappear just as quickly, I’d know it was the Universe sending me a sign and rush to fulfill its request or act on its clue.
For a while I’d been pondering giving a visit to Mama Medicine, a seeress who worked out of her feng shui-ed, cyrstal-filled space in Soho. I’d seen a fascinating interview between her and my ultimate idol Manifestation advisor Lacy Phillips, and had been impressed by Mama Medicine’s intelligence and depth of perspective. But she was pricy and I wasn’t sure what on earth I’d get out of a session with her, so I kept the tab to her bookings open on my computer, waiting for a decision to come to me. One rainy afternoon, it did.
“Look at that super fashionable mom,” my friend Lydia said as we sat sipping cocktails in ABC Kitchen’s window. I looked up and felt a ripple of excitement pass over my body as I watched Mama Medicine float by the window with her young daughter in tow. This was a sign if there ever was one.
A week later I found myself the subject of Mama Medicine’s intense stare. My main question for her was, what should I do next? I knew I wanted to use my interest in people and what makes them tick for my career. What made sense, I thought, would be to work at a wellness company, learn the ropes, and then, once I’d built up my courage, start a wellness company of my own.
For the past two years I’d been fascinated by female founders; women I believed to have that X factor, that fearlessness, that I wanted but didn’t have yet. Well, it was time to get it, I thought. And I would get it by working with one of these female founders I admired. Being in her presence, I postulated, would make me bold. Her fearlessness would infectiously compel me to lunge towards what I’d only recently realized I’d long been aching to do.
All that, however, I didn’t say, opting to mention instead that I should probably work at a wellness company. Mama Medicine paused. “I think that would be a detour. You should just start your company now.”
I giggled at the boldness of the statement. Me, start a business? What audacity that would take! It thrilled me.
I giggled at the boldness of the statement. Me, start a business? What audacity that would take! It thrilled me. For the rest of the session, I couldn’t sit still. I was like a kid who had just been told he was going to meet Santa. “My dreams are coming true!” I thought to myself.
The day after my meeting with Mama Medicine, I felt overwhelmed to say the least. I’d certainly been given an answer, but could I trust it? As I sat pondering this, my friend Victoria called. I told her about my meeting the day before. “Working for other people is a great way to build skills,” Victoria agreed, “but it’s also a way to put off just starting one’s own thing.” Victoria was the kind of visionary and fierce young woman who should and would start a flourishing business one day soon. “You should just start your own thing now,” she agreed. I laughed again at the boldness of the statement, a little less scandalized this time.
After Victoria and I got off the phone, I sat down to ask the Universe for a sign. I’d recently happened upon a how-to video on the topic with Gabrielle Bernstein. “Universe, if I should start my own company now, please send me a sign…show me a peach!” On the kitchen table in front of me sat a pile of supple peaches. A peach, I thought, would be good. “When you see the sign, you’ll know,” was Bernstein’s comforting assurance. “You’ll go tingly, you’ll get goosebumps.” Essentially, ya know when ya know. I’d definitely experienced that before.
But what if I shouldn’t start my own company? I added an addendum to my request to the Universe: “Oh, and if I shouldn’t start my own company, if I should get a job working for someone else, please make that clear to me as well. Thank you!”
As I wrote this, it occurred to me that I might be going bonkers. Determined not to dwell on the idea, I scampered out of the house to get a new journal at Muji. While on my walk, I noticed every peach-colored sign, person and spec on the floor. “Where’s my peach!” I thought to myself. My opinion on the matter was clear, at least.
By the time I arrived at Muji, I was exhausted. “No more of that nonsense,” I insisted. “I’m going to have a peaceful walk home.” As I exited the store, I felt tugged to walk an out of the way direction. Every time I arrived at a corner, I knew exactly which way I should go—and it wasn’t the fastest route home. “Alright,” I thought to myself, “I’ll bite.”
As I walked, there was a sense of cautious anticipation in the air. What would I find at the end of the road?
Approaching 10th street where my friend Marilyn lives, I thought it must be that I would run into her. No. As I passed St. Marks church I wondered if there was an event there I should attend. Again, no. I marched on.
As I reached the next corner, I felt pulled to walk uptown. “Where on earth!” I exclaimed, frustrated as I walked farther from home. As I said this, I felt my feet naturally slow. Confused, I looked up to feel my heart speed and eyes bulge as I noticed that in front of me stood Momofuku, the renowned noodle bar, brandishing its iconic logo, the peach.
I gawked, mouth in hand, staring at the peach plastered to its door. “Could this be it?!”
Thrilled, confused, chaotic, the one thing that came across clearly in the bustle of my thoughts was, “look up the meaning of Momofuku.” The meaning of Momofuku is lucky peach.
The meaning of Momofuku is lucky peach.
Creeped out, excited and full-on disturbed, I walked away from Momofuku as quickly as my wobbly legs would take me. Half a block later, a buzz notified me of a text from Victoria: “I don’t know why I haven’t thought of this before! We’re looking for a freelancer. Freelance write for us while you get your company up and running.”
Not only was the Universe telling me what to do, it was showing me how to do it.
“Thank you,” I said out loud. “Thank you.”