I went to Europe because I was searching for something. Europe wasn’t necessary; somewhere was. Europe happened to be my somewhere. I was just searching. I had been searching for a long time. I thought I might find it, whatever it was, once I got to wherever I was headed. I searched for a month in Europe, and then longer. I couldn’t seem to find it, whatever it was. I found other things, things I expected to find, like new places, with beautiful buildings and interesting history and wonderful people. I found unexpected things, too, like understanding, confusion, sadness, joy. But I never found what I was originally looking for. So I went home.
Home again, home for the holidays, back where I started. It seemed, at first, like nothing had changed, like I had never left. But I was different. I am different. I think, afterall, that I found something. I never knew what it was exactly that I thought I was looking for. But that doesn’t matter, because I managed to find it anyway. I found it. I know now that what I was looking for exists. That it’s out there. That I can go find it again.
What did I find? I call it “acceptance”. Acceptance of the journey. I’ll never know exactly where I’m headed. I think that’s for the best. At least for me. And it’s ok. It’s fine. It’s life. It’s beautiful. It’s a winding journey.
I moved out of my parent’s house for the first time in June. It was weird at first, being around roommates who were not my family and who weren’t designated by birth to care about me or love me. I noticed that right away.
I remember feeling confused and lonely. I thought I was lonely. But I think I was just looking at the world in the wrong way. I thought the world owed me something. I thought the world was supposed to love me. I thought the world was supposed to offer to make me toast for breakfast. I realized a few weeks later that the world doesn’t owe me anything. I just live in it.
In the second week of November I moved back into my parent’s house. I had accumulated a few more belongings since I’d left, like too-tight shiny disco shoes and even more books and a box of pasta. Four days later I moved to Prague.
Moving out of your parents’ house is strange and hard. But after that, after you stop believing that the world and the people in it owe you something, it’s easy. Moving is easy. Moving to Prague, was, surprisingly, easy. (Aside from the leaving your friends and family part.) You just get on a plane.
The world doesn’t owe me anything. It’s not going to hand me anything. So, I guess I have to take it.
People have called me brave. I am not brave. I just do things because I want to do things and I know I should do things because doing things is better than not doing things. Moving is better than not moving. Telling the boy you like him is better than not telling the boy you like him. Buying Nutella is better than not buying Nutella. Etc, etc, etc. That’s not bravery. That’s just doing. That’s just taking stuff, in a way, from the world.