You know her, or at least you’ve seen her. She’s the girl with the back pack on in the airport. She looks a little rugged, maybe weathered is a better word, and you can see the exhaustion in her eyes. She’s starting at a ticket in the middle of the aisle and all the while you stare at her. Her boots are dirty and her hairs pulled back and you can see the lingering presence of a tan from somewhere South of some border of some other place. Her denim shirt looks worn through, but in a loved through the wilderness sort of way. You notice the patches on her backpack. You start to count them. One place, two place, red place, blue place … they’re adding up in your head and you’re realizing that these are all of the places she’s been. You feel the admiration tinted with envy growing. You stare a little harder now and realize that she’s not just reading her ticket … she’s calculating. “How many more ____ do I need in the next _____ in order to make it to ____ and ____ so that I can cross them off my list of places to see before I ______ .” At least that’s what you imagine she’s thinking anyways. In that moment, although you can clearly see how tired she is, you realize how brave she is. Young traveler the worlds you have seen! The people you have met on your many journeys, I wonder how they have shaped you? Oh and the sights, have you seen stars that made you gasp? I’m sure you’ve seen animals of colors you couldn’t have dreamed of and had conversations that made your heart beat fast. I’m sure you wandered alone in a village somewhere only to realize your only thought was “Thank you.” Oh and I know you felt fear, of course you felt fear, but you were strong enough to be afraid and do. it. anyways. You are so brave …
And then you think to yourself any wanna be travelers famous last words:
“You’re so lucky.”
Every dream comes crashing down around us when we think to ourselves that another humans experience makes them any more blessed or anymore lucky than ourselves. The truth is, everyone has it just the way they have it. It does not matter what our circumstance has created for us, all we have control over is how we shape our lives from here. I’ve been staring at that girl for years. I have been watching her, wondering how I could be her, how I could be so lucky. It wasn’t until I moved across the country, struggled, made new friends, struggled, quit my job, and struggled that I found myself in a place where I was “brave” (whatever that means). Someone said something to me today that made a lot of sense. He told me, “the universe will provide us with opportunities when we are ready for them, but it’s up to us to jump on.” That really resonated with me. We are only ever able to step into the person that we are becoming when we are ready. It took life and lessons and tears and adventures for me to reach a place in my life that made me feel confident enough to trust my instincts and believe for the best. For years I’ve watched girls like her, and I’ve had opportunities like hers, and I could never take them. My spirit just wasn’t ready, it wasn’t the right time.
Today, I purchased a spontaneous trip to Iceland with two co workers because the price was reasonable and we wanted to. And just like that, I’m one step closer.
Was I afraid? Yes (still am). Was I unsure? Of course (still am). So I was not brave or lucky. I nearly had a mental break down after purchasing. “WHAT THE FUCK! WHO LET ME DO THIS?!” It wasn’t until I found the time for a quiet meditation that I thought again about what Michael said and realized, if it wasn’t the right time I never would have been able to make this happen. The Universe provided me the opportunity to step into the person that I have always talked about being. The person I have always dreamed about being. But if I had not had my experiences up until this very point I would not have jumped.
Today, I became the person I’ve always admired from afar. Or at least, I’m on my way to becoming her.