I woke up 1 day and I was 30. Seems like I woke up the next day and I lived in Europe. Looking back on my life I realize I have done the most “growing up” over the past year and a half. Out of 30 years, the previous 18 months have been the most defining.
Almost 6 weeks ago I left the United States. Best decision of my life? I’d say so. Without hesitation.
So far, this experience has shown me my strengths, weaknesses and shoved my fears directly in my face. It is amazing what you do with your fear when you have no other choice but to face it. There was a very tiny part of me that almost did not get on the plane the day I left Texas. 15 seconds of hesitation and paralyzing apprehension almost prevented me from making the best and most important decision of my entire life. The fact that I could have made the choice to stay in Texas gives the saying, “what might’ve been” an entirely new meaning.
It takes 2 hands to count how many fears I have conquered over the past 18 months. It now takes only 1 hand to count how many fears are still present. I am starting to realize that life can be anything you want. Everyone has heard people ask, “What’s the point? What’s the meaning?” If there was only one answer, the questioning would cease. One truth is simple to find in a world full of people. The fact is that that one truth is different for everyone.
If I were to describe the different fears I have conquered, they may be microscopic to one person. But to me they are gargantuan.
Perspective. Relativity. Individuality. These are all very real forces. I think these are what makes each person who they are.
Being in Europe, albeit for a very short time, I have seen history and culture. The things I have read about are now outside my window. The lessons I learned in school and pictures I viewed in textbooks are now tangible realities for me. There is something moving about seeing something in person that you have only read about. I have been humbled by cathedrals, marveled at statues and unexpectedly developed a passion for beer. I mean, this IS Prague!
I look forward to the day when my kids or niece or nephew learn about the holocaust and I can tell them, “I’ve been to Auschwitz.” (Haven’t been yet, but it’s on the books!)
Art, history and culture have always fascinated me. Even when I did not get to see it first hand I was impressed and intrigued. Lately, I’ve been getting a small sense of what it feels like to be speechless at the architecture of 19th century buildings or awe stricken at the magnitude and grandeur of St. Vitus Cathedral.
My life does not wait for fear to subside. It is up to me to dissolve what holds me back from doing what I desire.
My new mantra, philosophy, religion, whatever you want to call it. THIS is now how I choose to live:
“ I’ve come to believe in something I call “The Physics of the Quest.” A force in nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity. The rule of Quest Physics goes something like this: If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you. ” – Elizabeth Gilbert