The Email That Changed My Life

Five months ago, I was sitting alone in a hotel room in Chicago, crying.

I had gone to the Chicago consulate to apply for my visa. After months of waiting for the right documents to arrive, and after years of saving money and dreaming of this opportunity, I was finally ready to go.

Or so I thought.


When I showed up at the consulate, all dressed up with papers in tow, and having triple-checked everything I needed, I was told that there was one more document I’d need to bring before I could get the visa.

So I went back to the hotel to take my things, check out, and head back to Detroit. I was devastated. When was I going to have the time to go back to the consulate? Would I even get this document in time? Was there even hope? The next appointment openings were a week before my supposed deadline. That wasn’t enough time.

I sat on the bed, alone, sweating, crying.

And in that moment, something stirred in me. Send an email. So I opened my inbox, and sent several emails in hopes that I would receive this document in time.

I went home and waited days. Finally, I got the document. The only problem was that there were fewer and further appointment openings. I even emailed the consulate asking for an appointment, stressing the urgency of my deadline, and was told to simply keep checking for an opening.

And one evening, an appointment for the following afternoon appeared. And the following afternoon happened to be my day off. It was late enough that I would have had the time to take a train to Chicago and head back in the same day.

I arrived to Chicago feeling just as sweaty, and my document was accepted. I received my visa, and had two weeks to pack up my entire life (or as much of it as I could), quit my job, and start my new life.


Five months later, I am sitting in my apartment in a gorgeous part of town, eating breakfast, planning classes, and listening to the students from the music school on the floor below mine. Living here feels so natural. Teaching is enjoyable again.

I’m so thankful that I sent that email while I was alone in that hotel room in Chicago. This spark of intuition has been the one light that has guided me through my most difficult challenges and heartbreaks. It has shown me that the light is closer than I think, and brighter than I could have ever imagined – so keep your eyes open, and reach toward the light.




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