Keys that fit

Have you ever had trouble getting a key to turn a lock? Sometimes a key will go into the slot pretty easily, confirming you have the right one. But no matter how aggressive you are with the right turn and jiggle maneuver, the thing won’t budge.  You turn it upside down. You adjust its depth. You try other keys. But you know you have the right key – the one that won’t turn.

Then you take a second to breathe. Frustration subsides. Your grip loosens. And suddenly, as if you were imagining the countless seconds of resistance, the key finds its groove. The lock turns with ease.


That’s how it felt to turn the key in the lock of my new apartment. Finally.


Here’s what it took: 1) taking a step back in silence – no stress, no panic; 2) loosening my grip on the one and only ideal outcome (without letting it go entirely); and 3) listening to the only voice that matters (my gut) to determine which door is actually meant to be opened.

Turns out I wasn’t far off. Just about an hour, actually. The Hague!

My silenced mind almost immediately conjured the idea: search for cheaper apartments in that cute little city where the National Archives are located (a genealogist would feel me on this perk). I hadn’t spent much time in the Hague. But I hadn’t spent much time in Amsterdam before I moved there either. And similarly, once the idea came up, it immediately felt right – obvious, even.

Within 2 weeks I found an apartment online, scoped it out, signed the paperwork, drove from Amsterdam in the passenger seat of a moving truck, and unlocked the door to my apartment. It was as if, after months of resistance and being slightly off the right track, the nooks of the key and lock finally aligned. And I was no longer homeless, my friends.

Here’s how we celebrate:

2 thoughts on “Keys that fit

  1. Hey girl! Congratulations on your new living quarters…and taking that big step to move in! I definitely appreciate our observations that quieting the mind can take you take you far. It is so hard to remember that! But it is profoundly true. Keep enjoying your time in the Netherlands; I was a black girl gone in Maastricht for 3 years and loved (almost) every minute of it. I look forward to hearing about more of your “big leaps”!


  2. Robin, thanks so much! And yes, my mind only gets quiet on rare occasions. So when it does, I know I have to listen. It’s good to know you can relate…in more ways than one, toch? 😉


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