Once upon a time, not very long ago, I was a very sad girl. I could see the rest of my life: day-in, day-out, saturated in predictability. There was no unknown. Every day was the same: wake up, go to work, go home, and repeat. I looked all over social media, and everyone else appeared to be happy, enjoying their perfect lives. Why couldn't I just be happy like them? The emptiness became a world of pain weighing on my shoulders. Sleepless nights were spent crying on the bathroom floor, unable to even speak other than to utter a single-worded prayer: "Please." I longed for something different- for a measure of unpredictability, for wild adventures in new places that would mold me into the woman I had always hoped to be. Life had been a disappointment, and I wrapped my guilt around myself like a coat in the coldest of winters. One day I realized that I was not going to suddenly stumble into the life I always dreamed of. I had to go get it.
So I did.
As I sat in the airport staring at my one-way ticket to Spain, I was terrified. What had I done? Weeks passed, day after day filled with new obstacles to overcome. I began to embrace anxiety as an old friend, a tell-tale sign of another venture into the unknown. I felt myself growing stronger, more and more confident with every passing day.
Travel became an addition. The high of seeing new and beautiful things spread like wildfire in my soul. Fear was replaced with the feeling that my heart would burst with complete euphoria. I boarded planes and trains to see towering mountains, ancient archaeological sites, waves crashing into cliffs, historic cities, beaches with crystal-clear water, sacred cathedrals, and the encouraging smiles of new friends all over the world. I got caught in the rain and walked little slower, laughing and appreciating the beauty of the unpredictable moments. Inconveniences no longer felt like defeat, and negative experiences became learning opportunities. I looked in the mirror, and the sad girl was gone. In her place, I could see a woman who was brave, independent, unique, and kind- a person I had always hoped to be.
Maybe this story resonates with you. Maybe you're contemplating the first step. Maybe you're ten years into your brave adventure. I pray that you find the courage to take another step every single day- a step that takes you just a little closer to your wildest dreams. I pray that you'll no longer wish to be like other people or want what they have, but that you will choose to be confident in who you were uniquely created to be. Stop believing that you have to do it alone and start leaning on the ones who love you most. Be willing to make sacrifices. Be willing to be afraid; for only when we are most afraid can we truly be brave. Not every day is easy, and it isn't supposed to be. After years of being controlled by fear, I decided to stop being afraid. And then one day, I looked up, felt the warm sun on my face, and realized that I had fallen completely in love with my own life.
To the one who dreams of more:
Go get it.