The most cushion and comfort I would feel for the next few months was cuddled tightly beneath my crossed arms. I stood at LAX making small talk with my parents staring up at the massive sign of rotating arrivals and departures. Behind the forced yet hopeful smiles were tears. Mom and Dad, so proud and excited yet scared. After many I love you’s and all the well wishes in the world, I reached up for one last prolonged hug while my mom exclaimed through a teary smile, “Damn you and your adventurous spirit!”
While I slouched in line waiting for security, I looked ahead to a life that I couldn’t imagine and back on a life I knew so well, full of images, stability and comfort. What would my new existence look like? What would I look like there? Who would I meet? Where would I live? Why did I leave? Why did I leave? It was in my heart.
I had to trust my instincts. In vulnerability and discomfort the only thing left to trust was my heart and gut.
I haven’t thought about that moment, since that moment, and now I am unknowingly using that strength to move forward through tough times. Be the girl with the pillow I tell myself. When having a bad day or week or month, I find refuge in knowing that I have been to that place before. Loneliness. I have learned to accept that feeling, without analyzing or overthinking why, and just simply feeling. When I arrived at a state of loneliness recently (which I had been afraid of feeling since I experienced it so intensely in Australia), I sat there, took it in and said OK, I can do this, bring it on. In that moment I felt free and knew that my inner strength would continue to build from that moment on. It would get easier, it always does.
I live life with my heart forward. I make decisions true to my instincts and although it can be dangerous at times, it is a part of my character that I have learned to embrace.
“Because in the end what matters most is how well did you live, how well did you love, how well did you learn to LET GO”. That quote has grown a part of my soul since I read it on a wall in Bali. Letting go is so hard, impossible at times, but it is in letting go that your present and future path is lit up, guiding you into a direction filled with clarity and contentment.
Fasten your seat belt. Be the girl with the pillow. Step out, be brave, be adventurous, let go.