An unprecedented amount of sun is streaming through the house, and my body feels a thousand times lighter thanks to a small booklet sitting in my purse. It arrived just yesterday, and it’s my ticket, quite literally, to my happy place.
That passport — and the visa it includes — embodies the knowledge that I can now go back to the place that captured my heart on so many levels. The story behind needing a new passport? That’s for another day. The important thing is that I now have the piece of the puzzle that I needed and I simply can’t wipe this smile off my face.
I know, of course, that I have reasons to be happy here in Michigan (including my perfect new niece Scarlett Ann), but my heart lies in getting back to Europe (France, specifically), and it’s been a trying period of patience.
I felt guilty about this decision at first, and found myself justifying (to myself and others) my decision to move abroad. As I get closer making this move, though, I’ve realized there’s no need for that self-inflicted anxiety.
Leaving a place (and the people in it) doesn’t mean they’re any less valuable in our lives — we can move forward while honoring our past. It’s critical, in fact, that we do.
Nothing will ever stay the same in our lives; often the more we cling to it, the faster it slips away. We can look back and appreciate where we came from, but we don’t get anywhere from dwelling on the places and the things that no longer serve us. Straining to keep things the same will only end in pain, but moving forward allows us to build on our memories instead of watching them tarnish.
We must move forward and seek our dreams.
I’ve spent my time in Michigan focusing on what moves me forward. Connecting with family and friends. Working on a book that I’m excited to launch this spring (details coming soon!). Tying up loose ends and preparing for this new chapter of my life.
Having the ability to move gives me a new appreciation for the place where I stayed for so long.
Before getting my passport yesterday, I only knew that I would be going back…eventually. Now I have an appreciation that I can melt into, in knowing that I will be going back. It brings a sense of importance to the time I spend here, because it’s now so finite.
Major changes have waltzed through my life since the last time I booked a one-way flight out of Michigan. This time, it comes with a new type of excitement. I have a new sense of boldness even in unfamiliar situations that naturally activate our sense of fear. I have an idea of where I’m going, but also a sense of serenity about the unknown factors.
I have an understanding that no matter where I end up, I’ll find my way, with the help of family and friends who I may or may not know yet.
I’ll go back to cultures that welcomed me with open arms, and that opened my mind with welcome lessons. A new side of the world, never experienced in the same way by any two people, yet always awaiting its new recruits with the same complete and perfect air of opportunity.
Adventure is out there for any soul who dares to explore it.
I am thrilled to encounter the doors that lie ahead. Some familiar and some never-before-seen.
So now, although I’d already looked at the flights to return even before having the passport, I have an unparalleled sense of excitement. I’m free to continue the adventure that I started last year, and continue creating my own ideal life — writing this story that has developed into something I’m proud to live.
Each door we encounter, after all, holds promise of new marvels and new paths, whether seeing them for the first time or the fortieth.
We get to decide which doors we open, and to let those glimpses guide us on our own path to authentic happiness.