The Road So Far
Traveling has been a refuge lately. I’ve found so much of myself in exploring foreign land.
The past few days I have spent sitting in the car listening to The Lumineers as my mother and I drive through Canada.
The first significant spot I found myself falling in love with was Quebec City, ancient and rich with history. Over lunch my mom and I had a conversation about how we both felt like we were traveling back in time, to winter. I knew Canada was cold and we were in a very northern part, but it was practically a blizzard, and I quickly learned that Canada has a much different version of april showers than what I’m accustomed to.
Spending a few hours there was refreshing, a little reminder of how beautiful new lands just can be.
After Quebec City, that night my mom and I stayed in a hostel, my personal favorite way to travel. My earliest memory of staying in one was created in 2008, I had just passed my eight birthday and were spending a few days in Manhattan. I remember thinking how amazing it was that we slept in a bunk bed and hung out with all the other travelers in the common room. It made a pretty significant mark on my life as far as the different modes you can be in while traveling: I tend to notice that when you stay in hotels the experience is quite isolated and almost too structured for me. Whereas staying in a hostel is cozier, and much more intimate. Everyone there is so open to make connections with you and likely traveling without a lot of structure. Which, as of late is something that seems to be becoming more and more attractive.
For a very, very long time I’ve tried to stray away from uncertainty- I think mainly my desire for control is rooted in my anxiety. For a lot of people who also endure anxiety ridden thoughts, wanting to have control over situations is understandable. However, uncertaintly is deeply rooted in my bones. My parents and their families have always lived in the mode of “going with the flow”. I’ve written a lot about how when I was growing up my parents and I went on the most spontaneous road trips every weekend, and those are some of my most fond memories. SO, there is some contrasting emotions going on with me pretty regularly. On one hand I love being in control, it brings me a lot of solace and security (even though I know it can be the more boring option) but I also can’t ignore the excitement and joy that comes from uncontrolled and spontaneous moments.
Living in this paradox has been difficult, however, the past few weeks I’ve almost been growing more into what it’s like to have a great amount of uncertainty present in my life. For one, I’m STILL going through the college admissions process. This trip to Canada was formed around visiting a school I had been accepted into. It was the furthest college from Vermont and a complete odd ball. Located in a town with 4,000 people and not hosting anything special other than the complete serene surrounding area. To give some context, I had only applied to city schools because since as long as I can remember I fell in love with cities and always promised myself I would move to one as soon as I could. This school fell into my lap from a family member and I applied for fun, never really taking it seriously. However, once I got in and started weighing out my other options I realized that no matter how weird it might seem to me, I would absolutely resent myself if I never even tried to see what the town was like. For all I knew I would love the small town atmosphere and want to change schools. In the end, my gut was right, and I ended up hating it much more than I liked it. The experience was disappointing but I’m truly praying my next step in this college app process is going to give me a lot more clarity. Nonetheless, anyone going through this same thing experiences a load of uncertainty, and it can be quite destructive, but somehow I’ve been learning to live through it, and I’m growing to be more and more proud of that.
I’m beginning to realize that life becomes a lot easier to navigate when you begin to let go of controlling every single moment. I know a lot of people (including myself) are trying to achieve this perfect animation all the time, but we’re forgetting that humans aren’t physically able to be drawn to perfection. Life is supposed to be messy, it’s more human that way, and it’s okay to not have everything together 24/7. A life led like that never leaves room for exploration and the beautiful unknown things to occur, which is something I’ve so desperately been looking for for so long, and trying to find moments like that through a controlling lifestyle will just simply never happen.
This Spring, I want to learn to embrace everything much more effortlessly- rather than focusing in on what is happening and trying to find flaws within it, I want to learn how to just be.
With all my love,