I leave for Europe in approximately 4 days and 2 hours. I will be gone for 11 weeks.
As the departure nears my excitement is ever growing, but the anxiety felt about leaving is slowly setting in. Since I was young it’s been a dream of mine to study in France; learning the language, interacting with people, identifying with a new culture, ect. The adventures that await are beyond my imagination, but this wild experience is bound to bring a mix of emotions.
I think back to those other times when I’ve risked by comfort for experiential gain.
I’ve lived in Wisconsin since day one; the life I knew was comfortable and safe. The first time I went to SCAD I felt like I was going to vomit for a full 24 hours before I moved in. I was leaving my safe haven and stepping into a completely different world. I would soon find out that breaking out of my safety net was the best thing I’ve ever done. It forced me to figure out who I wanted to become and I found friendships based off of my own interests. The feeling of anxiety quickly vanished, I didn’t vomit, and I made my best friends within the first 24 hours of moving in. That’s a rare situation, but it showed me that swift transitions aren't impossible.
The next big adventure was the summer following my freshman year- moving up to Door County, Wisconsin with my best friend and a just a few bags. We took up odd jobs and worked 70 hours a week to make money for school. The first month was complete hell, working under a boss that treated us terribly and having no social life. We had no idea if we’d end up back home or if we’d stick it out. By the end of summer we checked all 15 tasks off of our bucket list, made lifelong friends, and walked away with unforgettable experiences. This proved that some transitions really suck, but we have to make the most of the opportunities we are handed and find peace in any situation.
Both adventures: I cried. I laughed. I gained friendships. I missed my dog and family. I missed my comfortable house. I worked really hard. I saw the world differently afterwards. I was by no means comfortable at any moment. AND IT WAS SO FUN!
I’ve been given the opportunity to leave my safe zone again, this time by myself. This time I’d be an ocean away from my parents. My safety is out of their control. There are fears entering the journey, and there is unmeasurable excitement. We are not living our lives to the fullest when we stay within the realms of our personal comfort.
So now on to the third adventure: living in Europe!