I am on the road once again, destination: Edinburgh.
I always mean to go to sleep early before a trip, but always end up having way more to do than I thought. I did manage to fit in a coffee with my dear Italian friend, and it was quite therapeutic to empathize with each other’s exam stress and irritating flatmates while also reaffirming each other’s plans for the future. I so hope that she comes to visit me in the States, as I hope to visit her in Venice before my time here in Europe is over.
After three short-but-lovely hours of sleep, I woke up to get a taxi to the bus station, then caught my bus to the airport in Málaga, where I am now waiting for my departure gate to be posted. As I travel more and more on these little jaunts, I am finding it more and more worth the extra money to gain a bit of time and comfort. In the past I would never have taken a taxi to the bus station, but I would’ve been cutting it close if I had waited for the first urban buses to start running, and then I would’ve been stressed out — and if there’s one thing that I really, truly do not need more of in my life right now, it’s stress.
The bus ride to Málaga was pretty nice, honestly. It was dark for most of it, but because of the direction we were headed I had a window-side view of the almost-full moon the entire time, and it made me realize how long it’s been since I just sat and watched the moon. The whole thing made me realize how much I appreciate those moments of traveling where everything is going smoothly, you know you’re on your way to where you need to be, and you can just relax and let your mind go.
As the sky lightened ever so slightly, illuminating the sharp points of the mountains and the gentle curves of the hills, I reflected. I was happy to find that my recollections of the somewhat disastrous jaunts of the past few months have already taken on a tinge of hilarity in my memory, and I started to realize just how many great jokes and ridiculous situations I have not only experienced myself but have shared with people who have come to be very important in my life.
I also realized how much time I have had. Time to myself, time to sleep, time to dream, time to study, time to be social, and most of all, time to question. To question everything about myself. To stop myself when I react a certain way and ask myself if I’m doing it out of habit or because it’s actually motivated by a deep, well-developed belief. Consequently, I find myself caring less and less about the little things — like how I look when I go out or if I ate dinner at a proper dinner time — and putting less and less pressure on myself to do things “because I should.” I have finally begun doing things because I really just straight-up tengo las ganas to do them.
And it’s all very liberating. I mean, I know people say that you need time to get to know yourself and find out what you like, who you like, what you want to do with your time, etc. It’s so true! You need loads of time to develop a really familiar relationship with yourself — and it’s a learning process that never stops since we’re constantly changing. But I’m happy to say that me and myself, we’re getting pretty tight. Like a really old friend, I have actually been able to say to myself, “Look, that person just said that thing that makes you do that thing that you hate doing. Remember, we thought about this so many times already. You know what to do.”
Ha, honestly, I could go on and on about all the things I’ve realized in the past two weeks. But it might get boring and I also might give away more than I care to, so I’ll stop.
I do, however, want to take just a minute to give a shout-out to all the people who have been straight with me about this whole mysterious Life thing. Geri, if you’re reading this, you win the award for Most Candor, and I mean that in the best way possible. To you and to anyone who ever felt comfortable enough to just say “I don’t know” or “we’re all just winging it” — thank you. Thank you thank you thank you. As an adult I’m realizing just how true this is. It is useful to listen to people’s experiences, but also to not expect that we will act in the same manner, make the same mistakes, or meet with the same success. We’re all just so different. So if you’ve been humble enough to admit that you, nor anybody, really has All This figured out, you rock. You’re an inspiration.