As you read this I'm on my way to Mexico with Taylor and Julie, two of my best friends from high school (and my new roomies!). Jealous? I'm so excited to finally be on vacation. We booked this trip kind of spur of the moment back in February or March and have been waiting for it ever since! Cancun, here we come!
Leaving America to head to Mexico hasn't exactly done wonders for my nerves. I am not the world's best traveler. It's a little better when I'm on trips alone or with friends. Anyone else feel like traveling with their whole family is extra stressful?? I love them, but I'm a significantly better solo traveler. (Sorry parentals.)
Last summer when my friend Kate and I went to Europe for two weeks, I found during the weeks leading up to our trip that I was just an anxiety-ridden mess. Granted, this was before I realized just how bad my anxiety was, but still. I was surprised to find that I've been feeling the same way since I got back from DC a few weeks ago.
"A ship at harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for."
It seems so silly to be writing this post about traveling, but I think now every time I travel I think about how my life will be come the end of next May. I may not be at home, close to my family. I may be far away from them and everything I've known for the past twelve years of my life. And if you're me, that is not a comforting thought at all!
Tell me if this sounds wrong, but my "ocean" right now is the next year. Senior year of college, it's kind of a big deal, right? And come graduation, there's this idea that you have to decide who you are going to be and where your life is going to go from there on out. I don't necessarily think that a 21 year old graduate has to know exactly who or where she wants to be in ten years, but I do think it's important to kind of have some idea.
The thing that always holds me back is home, or my "shore" you could say. My family is so supportive, but I've never been away from them. I know my family will never be a part of my past, they'll always be a part of my present, but they're part of the home that's holding me back. My friends will all be going their own ways, and I know it won't be easy for all of us. Home is everything from my childhood that I hold dear, everything from my childhood that I'm terrified to leave behind.
This year is going to be about teaching myself that losing sight of the shore isn't forgetting it, it's just saying goodbye for a while. Your past will always come back to you-- in memories, in photos, in songs and in people. Parts will fade, but the important parts will remain. Having the courage to let those years go is hard, but if we didn't let go of our past, our future would suffer right?
Don't forget your past, but do let some things go. The important things that remain will be the things you reflect upon when building your future. And when you grasp onto the idea that your past doesn't have to hinder you, that losing sight of your shore doesn't necessarily mean letting it go, that's when you find the courage to set sail and cross your ocean.
Take your lessons, your defeats and your triumphs, and build a life you're proud of.