I turned 25 this August and I decided it was going to be my year of new opportunities. I’m finally feeling settled in New York, I’ve significantly decreased the number of times I check subway routes, and I feel confident in myself to create a career that works best for me, more on that in my next blog. I have an inner feeling of calmness that I’m challenging with excitement for the unknown future, a mindset that has allowed me to approach opportunities coming my way with an open mind and heart.
A few weeks ago my boyfriend asked me to take a week off to travel to Peru with him. I laughed in his face. Not because he was silly to ask after only dating me for 2 months (no, I was flattered!), but because in such a short amount of time my birthday wish was being answered in a really big way! Before I even allowed my mind to go on a tangent of all the reasons why I shouldn’t go, I blurted out yes.
I’m learning that when an opportunity comes knocking on your door the polite thing to do is to welcome it in. Maybe it’s not the guest I was anticipating or hoping for, but it may very well be the thing that I’ve subconsciously been asking for. So, I opened my door and let Peru in, knowing it would be an adventure that would open my eyes and mind in ways that New York City never can.
From liftoff to landing the trip was incredible, but the memory I’ll carry with me forever will be our visit to Machu Picchu. The bus ride to this Wonder of the World took us through rural Peru. I sat quiet most of the ride, partly because it was 6 AM, but also I was so engrossed by the scene outside my window. Piles of garbage served as the kitchen for crowds of stray dogs, and dilapidated homes matched the bumpy beaten up road. My mind is not naive to the poverty that exists in this world, but my eyes are. It took four hours, two buses and a train through the country, but I finally got to stand on top of Machu Picchu, taking in the same views the Incans did hundreds of years ago. It was breathtaking, but the parallel sceneries made the whole experience surreal.
I had an aha! realization while standing on top of the Andes Mountains. Often life presents us with a situation that forces us to walk through the unpleasant in order to receive the richest beauty life has to offer. We all tend to run as soon as it gets too dirty for us to handle, but you have to keep moving through it, and eventually you’ll stand tall on the mountain taking in the beauty.
My advice to you is you is to leave room for life to surprise you. Give up control because you’ll get bored if life plays out exactly the way you have it planned. If you want to be swept off your feet you have to start saying yes to the opportunities you never planned for.