two days ago, I spent my final night, of what was supposed to be an amazing Italian adventure with a man I loved, solo near Venice watching the rain fall through a hotel room window. as I peered from above at the crazy Italian drivers cruising down the autostrada, I couldn’t help but smile.
I had earned my badge as one of those drivers. I had survived the difficult new challenge of weaving in and out of lanes (that seemingly didn’t exist), kept up with the lead-footed Italians, and learned to not freak out when a fellow driver was just inches behind me or scooters zipped around cars as if their operators were invincible. not only that, I had done it on my own. and perhaps my white knuckles would indicate otherwise, but at some point I actually began to almost feel comfortable with the new experience.
and the next morning, as I was literally breaking out of the hotel through an emergency exit when the main doors failed to open, I smiled again. a huge, ridiculous toothy grin that warmed my heart. a smile that made me pause, despite the fact that I needed to quickly exit the hotel parking lot as I had presumably just woken the entire building with the alarm. I smiled because not only had I successfully driven in Italy, I, the queen of lists and check boxes and plans and following the rules, had survived a week that had gone anything but according to plan. I smiled because it had been a rough few days, but I had made a series of very difficult, but very necessary, decisions that rocked every plan I had made for the trip. I smiled because I had been disruptive when it would have otherwise been very easy to just continue on until I returned home. I smiled because I had not only made it through, I had grown — a lot.
see that’s the thing about expectations — they’re never really what you plan, what you would like them to be. lists and check boxes can only go so far because really, like 99% of your life is not in your control. sure, you can prepare and you can expect things to go a certain way, but the universe doesn’t care about your lists. the universe could give a fuck about your itinerary.
and that’s okay. really, it is. because while a world that goes exactly as planned may be safe and secure, it would also be dreadfully boring. and just think about all of the strength gained by overcoming those unexpected obstacles. just think about all of those missed opportunities to break out of your comfort zone and discover who you really are. because, remember, while a ship in harbor is safe, that is not what ships are built for.
“A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.” — John A. Shedd.
week in review
fell in love with Italy
weekend happenings + goals
cleanse my house and soul