a simple shift


This summer was nothing that I thought it was going to be when I first bought my plane ticket. It was supposed to be winding roads, traffic jams and beaches with magnificent sunsets. The salty air was supposed to wrap me like a blanket as we walked down memory lane. The soundtrack of palm trees swaying in the wind and the lapping of the ocean was supposed to be my normal, if not the ocean at least my parents pool. In and out was supposed to be readily accessible and Yosemite was in my near future.

Much like everyone else though, I experienced quite a curve ball. My summer was spent wrapped in literal sweaters, biking through forests and navigating my new life here in The Netherlands. I know I am privileged and I am lucky, and I thank the heavens for it every damn day. But I was still disappointed that I wasn’t surrounded by granite and rushing water like I imagined, but recognized that I was lucky enough to be healthy, have job waiting for me and to have some sweet company.

I began to shift my perspective to focus on what is, and not what could have been. To find the magic in the morning sun, spot the birdhouses along the bike path and to dance in the rain that comes and goes as it pleases. Inhale the air heavy with dew and take the long way home. Tiny actions that would have a lasting impact on my ability to loosen my grip on the expectations of a Californiacation.

Slowly, I pulled myself out of the rabbit hole long enough to recognize that the daily news headlines were making me a little mad in the membrane. I was dizzy due to the whiplash and frustration of the world. Once my vision cleared and I was able to see the world outside of the black and white world of print, I was able to see the world through the people surrounding me. I began to make my own headlines, American Girl FINALLY Rides Her Bike Without Panicking, Swiss-bound Friend Leaves Warsaw AT LAST, First Postcard Received at New Apartment, A Californian and a Turk Welcomed by the Irish. Little things, that deserved to be celebrated, the bits of love and connectedness that the major news outlets missed.

My wish is for you to also be able to disconnect and unplug just long enough to fall in love with the birds that sing. That even in the midst of this chaos, where it can seem like your world is literally burning to the ground, that I wish that you can find at least one thing to become enchanted with. One beautiful act of humanity, one part of nature that just takes your breath away, and for that moment I hope your load seems a little lighter your day a bit brighter and your future a bit more resolved. And do me a solid, while you’re marveling at those stars (or city lights) just take a moment and appreciate how remarkable you are. Just as you are.

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