Today I’m going to offer a more insightful and reflective post than what I have been writing on here thus far.
I’ve noticed a change in the skies here; this is the first week I have felt and seen a difference in the atmosphere. I first noticed it on my walk home one night this week. Perhaps the skies have always look like this here, and perhaps I’m just not used to it. Or maybe I wasn’t being quite observant enough the first couple of weeks. Regardless, let me explain.
I think that I may have finally come across a bit of clarity in my life.
Coming here, I was in search of a number of things. I wanted to experience Europe and discover just how big the world really is; I wanted to see the greenness of Scotland and Ireland, the fortress that is the London Bridge in England, perhaps even the love locks on one of Paris’ most famous bridges. Along with travel, I wanted to spend some time in a different academic environment; new classrooms, new professors and a new outlook on learning. Ultimately, I wanted to find what I may have been searching for in myself.
I’m not one to post this sort of thing on social media; I don’t make a personal diary out of a public venue. However, I think it’s important for those of you at home that are reading this and keeping up with me to know how I’m feeling. I also want you to understand what I have learned. Maybe this will help you know me even more.
First, the thing I noticed upon my arrival here is my age––I am still so young. That twenty-first birthday only made me feel younger, oddly enough. I’ve been thinking a lot about school, as I usually do, and I realized that I’ve been doing it all wrong for so long. I’ve been chasing what has been, or at least what I had thought was expected of me. I’ve mistakenly and regrettably allowed concerns such as what my resumé looks like, a perfect GPA and the prospect of a job upon graduation consume my thoughts. Admittedly, these things are important to some degree, but they are not the focus of one’s college years. At least, they shouldn’t be. College is supposed to be the time of one’s young adult life. Sadly, I have overlooked the bigger picture because I have been so concerned with the details for three years. But no more. I am coming out of college with a degree at 21 years old come this May. That’s something to be proud of alone. What I have to remember once I do graduate is that even then, I still have so much to learn and so much to accomplish in things completely unrelated to school. I don’t need to be concerned with a career right away. I simply need to find my way, armed with the knowledge of everything I have learned in school and see where life takes me.
This brings me to my next point. I am no longer so anxious to pick up and leave everything that is home to me. Before, I might have thought I could simply jump at the offer of a job somewhere outside of Texas and go. I thought that was what I wanted. I thought, mistakenly, that anywhere was better than the place I have been for 21 years of my life––my whole life. However, now that I’ve been away from home for about a month, I know that that was all wishful and wrongful thinking. I’ve realized that as much as I want to see the world and visit places that are different and interesting and inspirational, I could never run away from home. Not truly run away, anyway. My heart is too connected and too rooted to home. Perhaps not with the things and places I’m used to seeing, but because of the people.
Most importantly, the thing I have come to understand that people are what matter to me. My family, my friends, my boyfriend are what pull me back home after I’ve had my fun seeing things that I’ve always wanted to see. Sure, there’s always room for more cities and countries on my bucket list, but what does it matter when I do kick the bucket at the end of my life and there’s no one there to reflect on my life for me? There is no point. I need people, I need the ones I love in my life. The feelings of the heart are eternal; pictures and postcards and stamps on a passport can fade and be forgotten. The mind is truly no match for what a heart can hold. Because my passion in life is the people I love, I put everything I have and can offer into those relationships. That being said, I have left my heart at home, and there’s no way I could ever leave home and not return. That would be the death of me.
Lastly, speaking on behalf of myself, I’d like to say that this trip was absolutely essential in helping me figure out who I am as an individual. I think it has taken leaving and removing myself from everything normal––everything I have ever known for 21 years––to be able to see what matters and what doesn’t. As I have mentioned, I know that it’s not the place that matters, but the people in my life. I matter too. Now, more than ever, I have so much I could write about. I was stuck at home, lost for inspiration, and now I am overwhelmed by the amount sweeping through me. I understand what it is to be young, to see things and know what I value. Granted, I have only been here a month, but boy have I already learned so much. I hope that by the time I return home in December I am able to decode even more of the things that have taken me so long to work out. I’m piecing myself together over here, but it took breaking off to do it. I’m not even finished yet.
So, loved ones, have peace, because I’m finally beginning to feel at peace myself. Which, if you know me well enough, that’s never been an easy thing for me to find.
I’ll write again on my daily activities, but I do hope this post gave you as much insight as I feel I am gaining over here.
The fresh air, the green trees, the salty smell of the sea and my time spent thinking and walking have done me well. I’ll continue to write on my wanderings and wonderings, but for now I have a bit of work to do. I’ll write soon!