In the midst of writing my travel memoir, Love Dogs and Other Notes From the Universe, I started to feel the desire to create a space where I could begin to share my writing now, instead of having to wait until it was finished. But if I was going to start a blog, I knew it would need to be something that not only encapsulated my point of view and where I’ve been, but that also had the potential to grow with me to wherever I’m going. Thus The Undiscovered Journey was born.
The Undiscovered Journey is what happens when the first path you set out on in life doesn’t work out, and rather than stubbornly trying to force it to work somehow (even though it never will), you instead make a radical choice to go in a completely different direction. You let go of your ideas of what you thought your life was supposed to look like, and take a leap of faith, surrendering to whatever comes.
We all try to create a sense of false certainty by creating stories, fictions, about who we are and what our life has to look like. We make plans on plans on plans, and try to control everything. But we cannot control anything, and instead we create uphill battles for ourselves, completely closing ourselves off to the idea that our life could be something else, that it could be something more magical than what we have so stubbornly planned out.
This is where I found myself four years ago, at the end of my rope with my story about myself and what my life was meant to look like. I was living in Los Angeles trying to pursue my life long dream of becoming an actress, but I kept hitting nothing but brick walls, and the choices I was making in trying to fulfill this story of myself were rendering me deeply unhappy. I needed to shake things up drastically, and I decided the best way to do so would be to sell all my belongings and travel by myself to India for four months.
This was not the safe choice. The safe choice would have been to keep doing what I was doing, even though it was going nowhere, just because it was what was familiar and it was what I’d said I wanted, or to give it all up and resign myself to a normal job and a normal life. I didn’t want safe. By staying “safe” you cannot guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen to you, but you can guarantee that nothing magical will ever happen to you. Magic cannot occur in a safety vacuum. In fairytales magic always involves a certain amount of daring and adventure. Magic happens when you go into the woods, when you leave home, when you go on a quest. So instead of staying “safe” I decided to take a leap towards an uncertain future, letting go of plans and preconceived notions. And by doing so my life became magical.
When I gave in, when I let go, when I surrendered, everything stopped being so hard. I was no longer fighting a losing battle. I was no longer hitting dead ends. Life opened itself to me, help appeared, the Universe began to talk to me and show me the way, and it gave me everything I never knew I needed.
This journey has lead me to discover what I’m made of, it has lead me to magical adventures, it has lead to me to true love, and it has lead me to writing a memoir and starting this blog. So I have stopped mapping my life out, and instead I just take it one step at a time. I’m excited to continue to discover what life has in store, share what I learn along the way here with you, and hopefully encourage you to take a leap into the magical unknown of your own Undiscovered Journey.
Carina Covella is a writer and currently working on her forthcoming memoir, Love Dogs, detailing her six month transformational journey from Hollywood through India. Carina graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University cum laude with a degree in Art History. She also attended the Sorbonne in Paris and studied opera at the Manhattan School of Music through the university exchange programs. Until recently she lived in Mill Valley, California with her wonderful Welsh boyfriend Anthony in a house nestled in the trees, but now they’re off on a two year adventure around the world. When she’s not writing or traveling she loves to cook for her friends and family.