Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

All That is Gold Does Not Glitter
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

This year has been revolutionary for me. I’ve always been the “play it safe” kind of girl. I’ve stayed happily within my comfort zone, never challenging the rules or boundaries. But this year has been incredibly different. It all started on December 29th, 2016 in Seattle, WA. I was flying from my cozy warm desert to a much cloudier and snowier city in conquest of mending a fractured love — sounds like such a romance novel right? I’ll spare you the mushy and emotional details for a later entry.

It was my first time exploring this city and unlike my usual self, I hadn’t planned the entire trip from beginning to end. I simply hopped on a plane and took a deep breath. I was in great company and was finally able to exhale. It was something about the crisp air and the crunching snow under my feet that brought me such clarity. For the first time in a long time, I just let go and released all control. I was at the climax of my life and this getaway was right on time.

At the cusp of the new year, I wanted to leave with just one goal: write a more in-depth and meaningful list of revolutions — more than my usual montage of goals like “get better grades”, “gain a little weight”, “have more me time”. I wanted this year’s outlook to be more real. After all, this was my first full year of adulthood (whatever that means). No more school and regulations, just true freedom. So I took the challenge.

I sat at this quaint little bar called Pie Bar and poured my heart out. As I drank the most delicious cider I’d ever wrapped my lips around (it’s called Apple Pie Moonshine Mule), I cried, yelled, and completely allowed myself to be honest about how lost I’d been feeling since I graduated from college.

Who was that girl? Who am I now?

It was so emotionally freeing, let me tell you! After my second cider, I wiped my tears and left the bar a new woman. Sounds pretty cliche huh? Yeah, I know. Real story though my friends. For the first time, I let go of my poised self, kicked my little ego to the curb and got down to the core. Since that night, I’ve been a changed woman. I spent the rest of the evening exploring, wandering around the wet city and looking a little closer at this beautiful life. I just kept whispering to myself,

I’m too blessed to be stressed. Life is too short to be anything but obnoxiously happy and grateful for every day that I have the miracle of waking up. 

So like any spontaneous twenty-something, the day that I was scheduled to fly back to my little nook in Phoenix, I got a tattoo. It’s absolutely stunning. Five little words, so short but so powerful.

Still, like air, I’ll rise. 

Spoken by the great Maya Angelou herself, an excerpt of a poem that speaks to the essence of my entire being.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

In those nerve-wracking and rattling moments, it summed up the entire vacation. I’m going to embrace the instability of life and ride it like a wave. So I made my resolutions and something new — a travel bucket list. An illustration and a reminder carved into my memory of all of the beautiful things I want to see and do in this life. I’ve never made the time or saved the expense to travel until 2017. Four months into this year, I’ve visited two new cities; Seattle, WA and Sedona, AZ. Soon to be four…and even a new country.
In five days, I will set sail to Ensenada, Mexico to continue my ventures and continue to spread these wings of mine. These are my dreams and biggest fears becoming my reality, and I couldn’t feel more free.
— Little Miss Sunshine
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