The Journey

The Journey is the Destination

Oh, the places you'll go

Oh, the places you'll go


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Living Abroad Will Change You

We all change as we go through this life. 

We are constantly being molded into a new being as time goes on. The person we were last year is different from the person we are now, and who we will be in a year's time. We are the summation of every day we live, every circumstance we go through, every challenge we face, every moment we experience. We are the epitome of every thought that enters our minds, the food that enters our body, and chemicals that reach our blood. We essentially become what we allow ourselves to do throughout time. There are external factors, but nothing and no one can force you to eat one thing or think one way. You decide your reactions and thoughts and you complete your actions. Once this responsibility is realized, you can begin taking initiative in life and excuses come less often. You can either choose to focus on your worries and should've or could've been's, or you can focus on each moment as it comes and be happier for it. As of right now, there is no past or future, there is only this moment that we have. Don't let your mind run away with your moment.

I have changed.

7 months abroad so far. I feel as if nothing and everything has changed about my life. I still have another 8 months of living in Germany to go and I know there is A LOT of room for growth. I have come to realize that the process is my destination and I will never quit trying to become a better person. Some would say this is due to dissatisfaction with life, but I see it as a passion of being in love with the process of my life. In the words of Matthew McConaughey, "My idol is me 10 years from now, and in 10 years from now, my idol will be me 10 years from then." I am a work in progress. Always. As long as I continue advancing myself without remaining stagnant then I will consider myself a success and that mindset will perpetuate my ability to continue advancing in life. You may think I am too serious about this life that inevitably ends, but it's all I have so I will make the best of it by enjoying each moment of getting better.

This acceptance speech is always a good reminder to keep it moving forward.

Some lessons I have learned:

1. Recent loss - 

Recently I lost the support of a majorly significant person in my life, and I never realized how much I cherished that support from her until I lost it completely. On the flip side, if it was meant to work out with her then I would not have left her back in the states and she would not have quit talking to me while I am here. I was feeling completely sorry for myself for a while until I realized that I do not have time to do that. I fell off of my meditation during this time and my negative thoughts carried my emotions off onto a rollercoaster ride dreamed up by Hades. I eventually came to my senses and remembered my meditations and realized what is will be and I have this moment. I am better than that. I have always cared a lot about that woman but I have done very little to prove it and I now believe this is truly an opportunity for her to move on and be happy away from me. This is the least I can do if I could never be there for her. One day, sooner or later, we will both find someone who will make us realize why it never worked in the first place. All I know now is that my future wife better be up for some extreme adventures or we are doomed.

2. Lost in Thought - 

I have been better about mindfulness lately. I have been practicing almost religiously. I used to find myself lost in thought for a long time thinking about who knows what from the moment I wake up until sleep that night, only to start the cycle over again the next day. I was not truly enjoying any moments because my thoughts were consuming my time. These small thoughts might start my day off "on the wrong side of the bed", and I would be in a mood because of it. I have began curiously noting my thoughts from the moment I wake up in order to file thoughts and feelings into categories that help me understand why I am thinking that, then I can move on from the thought and carry on with my day. I have realized I am much more relaxed when I do this, I am mindful to the moment, and I am overall slightly happier because the worries no longer consume me. It has not been easy and it has taken a lot of practice, but it is paying off tremendously.

3. Goal or Relationship Oriented - 

This is a tough lesson to learn. I have always had goals in my life, but I didn't realize how much I lean on the support of the relationships I have developed. That whole not knowing what you have until it is gone quote is a real thing when you deprive yourself for months. I truly care about my friends and family more than anyone or anything in my life, and if I do not have them then I do not have anything and my goals do not matter. I understand that I would like to be close to them (at least, you know, a plane ride away), and being away has helped me realize I can accomplish my goals while focusing on the relationships I have always taken for granted.

4. Time Spent Alone - 

I am slightly older than the median age here. I have done what majority of people are doing here and most people believe they need a big group of friends. I used to think this as well. But now I know I have no one to impress but myself and the ones I truly care about. I spend a lot of time reading, writing, hiking, and doing things on my own and it helps me consider what I truly feel passionate about. I know I love to travel and I would really like to help those in need. I have discovered something I can do to incorporate both of these foundational needs into a passion, and the best part is I can pursue this venture on my own back home in Kansas City when I return. I have been working on it in my spare time to get things squared away. I am very excited about this!

5. Traveling is Cool, but... - 

Traveling is a huge part of my life. I believe it helps people develop new synapses in the brain that allow for more learning. I believe experiencing new cultures and trying to learn a new language is a challenge that everyone should give a chance at some point. I believe the only way people are going to truly be less scared of the world and the news they consume online is to get out of their comfort zone and talk to their neighbor in a different country and realize that the world is not as bad of a place as one may think. Quite the opposite. Travel is cool in so many ways, but it's not as enjoyable unless you are doing it with people you know or care about. This goes back to goal/relationship oriented. Don't get me wrong, I love traveling solo- I learn so much about myself and I meet so many amazing people I never would have got the chance to meet. While solo travel is nice, I thoroughly miss the enjoyment of going somewhere new with someone I already know, it helps me learn more about that person and the walls come down even further. Also, being the travel agent of my friends, it allows me to satisfy them with my awesome logistical planning skills (ha ha). Either way, travel is cool, it's just a preference as to what you want to experience while you do it.

These are a just a few lessons I have learned in a short amount of time and the growth is exponential in this environment of being away from comfort. I understand my mindset is constantly changing, molding, and adapting into the person I want to be. This experience is humbling me. I am enjoying the rest of it and accomplishing my goals, but I am making less selfish plans that will last the rest of my life.

Oh, I hope you all are ready for my next post. It is all about where I have been and what I have done so far during this chapter in life. If you don't like being jealous, then I would skip it :D