In the midst of cleaning my closet to purge what is no longer needed I stumbled on two photos from my first trip to Europe. I took some time to reflect on this time as I looked back at the smiling girl in the photos. Just a few short weeks before that trip I had obtained my first degree in arts. I remember feeling particularly proud because on top of attending college full-time, I also worked and I was a raising a child on my own. I felt I was all grown up but looking back at it a 19-year-old mother is in some ways still a child herself.
I was too naive and inexperienced to have any sort of concept of what being an adult with a bundle of responsibility at such a young age would be like. From the age of 19 my life has been incredibly structured to survive. Shortly after my summer trip to Europe I landed a full-time job as a banker and continued to assume all of the responsibilities that come along with being an adult.
This photo was taken at St Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy on a warm July day. I had arrived by rail after spending nearly a week in Paris. I explored the history, marveled at the art, architecture and spoke in Spanish instead of English because I was understood more easily. It was a beautiful experience.
The essence of the girl in the photo is the same; her core is kind and sincere. Looking back I realize that nothing really ever came easy up to this point but in midst of it all I considered the struggle to be normal as I just worked through it because there was no other choice. I had to keep moving forward. I’ve learned many lessons through hardships and I’m grateful for it because those events have shaped me into who I am today. I’m far from perfect and of course there’s always room for improvement but overall I’ve done OK.
Wanting can be done sitting on the couch with a bong in your hand and a travel magazine in your lap.
Deciding means jumping in all the way, doing whatever it takes, and going after your dreams with the tenacity of a dateless cheerleader a week before prom night.