“Being realistic is the most common path to mediocrity” -will.smith
In October, I remembered that I wanted to travel the world.
I remembered that I was more than the 70 hour work weeks and the juggling
of responsibilities and the blank stares
when someone asked me about my interests, or what I like to do in my “free time”.
I remembered that there were pieces of me that I was forgetting.
In November, I paid my loans and opened a savings account and I worried.
I worried that I wouldn’t be able to do it,
that I wouldn’t be able to leave my job,
or my friends, or my apartment, or the life I have built for myself.
I worried about neglecting my professional growth or my career trajectory;
I worried that I wasn’t nearly as bold as I have been told that I am,
or as I have felt in the past or as I wanted to be.
I worried the most about who I would be and what it would mean if I didn’t go.
In December, I started reading travel blogs.
I found a backpack that I wanted to carry my life in.
I reminded myself of the power and my love of words.
I assured myself that my favorite verb is go, and my favorite noun is passion.
In January, I bought a pair of Teva sandals.
While it snowed outside, I walked around in my apartment and I imagined
the beaches and mountains and cobblestones they could carry me over.
In February, I bought some new sneakers to round out the collection
(ones that could carry me from day to night, and country to country).
I thought about how every journey starts with a step
(and the right pair of shoes).
In March, I found someone to sublet my apartment.
I thought about how leaving is hard,
but how there is always something to come back to.
In April, I booked a one way ticket to Portugal;
I officially marked my calendar.
I went outside on my lunch break
and listened to more music
and walked more slowly through the city streets.
I tried to remember the way certain bricks wobbled under my weight
or the ways certain trees swayed in the breath of the wind.
In May, I finished my Master’s degree.
I celebrated the end of an academic year, personally and professionally.
I thought about how we are all more than titles or degrees or resumes.
On Tuesday, I submitted my resignation
to the place that has been my home for the last six years,
to the place that taught me how to be a college student
and an adult
and a professional.
With a little sparkle and a lot of welling tears in my eyes,
I looked at the place that prepared me so beautifully to go out into the world.
I had known that I was going, but on this day,
I felt for the first time as though I was leaving.
On Monday, I got an ampersand tattoo.
There is always more.
There is more to see & to do & to be.
There is more to me & to my story.
We choose where to end our sentences,
& where to run on
& explain more
& go further.
Anything can follow an