We’re above the clouds, banking right then left, leaving my stomach to turn in a way that I can’t tell if I might throw up or jump up with joy. Or maybe that’s the two cups of coffee I chugged on an empty stomach. Anyway. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to fly? I mean really fly. Like an angel (I’m typing and all I see is my twelve year old brother cupping a hand over his mouth and muttering a “dramatic much Gigi?” followed quickly by a high pitched “oo buurrrnnnn”) or maybe one of those super techy James Pattison bird kids (…um yeah don’t judge me. I was totally team Fang all the way. Then I realized the books were basically going to go on forever and I gave up. Sorry bird boy) who like, totally kick butt all the time and never die and are like SUPER cool.
But back to flying. The superheroes and the characters of books take to it with ease, obviously, but I’ve always wondered if it might not be a completely and totally terrifying experience. Maybe that’s why humans don’t have wings, what if our bodies or minds just couldn’t handle the experience? The expanding experience of flight might just force an average human to combust. Or maybe we would just walk around with the wings poking from our clothes and never take the risk of actually using them.
It may not be wings that are the focus, but somehow I see humanity doing this more often than not. Chances and opportunities so big it makes ones head start to reel….but then they are left to tumble into that big chasm we call “maybe later”.
It makes me so angry.
I see all these young people-but whether old or young I think maybe everyone is guilty of this- around me denying themselves the chance for expansion, for mind blowing perspective and opportunities that could open doors for the next chapter in their lives. Opportunities that could (insert crazy, red haired Merida’s Scottish accent from the movie Brave right here) change their fate. And I get so frustrated that they don’t see it themselves. That they are completely and totally alright with staying the same as they have been and assuming life will continue on that way. They start by putting their heads down like bulls then ending up as a cow. Moo.
So as you might be able to see I have little tolerance for this. Actually I have little tolerance for a lot of things, though I’m working on it…sort of.
Looking out of a plane window, seeing first the picturesque countryside of green hills and tiny red shingled roofs, then soon after skyscrapers beneath, feeling the turbulence jolting us this way and that I realize I’m really, really wanting to toss some things into that “maybe later” trash can.
Not I who am so totally open to expansion and change.
Not I who have been gushing ridiculously with love-sick puppy yapping about this experience for weeks.
And it wasn’t till about 12ish hours later (after realizing I had been up for over twenty hours and then some I stopped counting) while I was lying in bed, so wired on kaffee (oo look at how good my German is) and beyond the point where I was aware of the exhaustion that had turned me into a zombie…did I realize I was completely unprepared for the way I felt about Europe Take Two…
But let me explain, and I promise all the talk of flying and whining about people is relevant. Well mostly. Perhaps the first post on my blog should be a warning in big red (because I love red) letters saying “hello, this girl likes to go off on tangents that she mostly wraps up in a neat little bow but will seem at first completely crazy and random. Then again she might just be, crazy and random” – ja, nein?
You see Narnia is one of my favorite series, partly because it is, indeed, an amazing work of literature, but mostly because it is an integral part of my childhood. I am ashamed to say I can’t recall if this scene was actually in the book or just plastered into the movie, but if you’ve seen Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes is beautiful, when I was however old I was at the time the movie came out I was literally set on marrying him and then cried when Susan and him could not be together. It was traumatizing. Couldn’t watch it again for days) there is a scene in which Lucy, our sweet believer, lays with her arm draped across the mane of Aslan, the great lion. This is the first time they have met again since Lucy has returned to Narnia, along with her three siblings. It is hundreds of years later, and everything has changed. As they sit they speak of times gone past and Lucy asks, in the innocent way she has, why Aslan didn’t come roaring into the battle like the time before and save everyone? He responds calmly – “Things never happen the same way twice.”
It’s so simple.
You see I had an amazing experience during my last visit to Europe, naturally there were a few occurrences of grumpiness and maybe once (maybe) that I missed my big family, but in the larger scope it was one of the top experiences in my life. I mean…its Europe. I should have been off the wall (or…window? Wing?) jumping up and down with excitement and this mind blowing opportunity. And yes of course I was excited, but it was under a layer of doubts and fear. But not till my caffeine crashing moment, despite all my talk of being open to experiences and change, did I realize I had nearly reached the point where I didn’t even want to step off the plane.
But you see I’ve changed so much since the last time I was here. I think I was afraid that I would step off the plane and forget the strong person that I have now become. I was afraid of losing myself and handing my emotions over to the people around me. There were relationships and possibilities that I was unsure of and would not be able to control. In short I was terrified. And it is easy to admit that almost all of it was compacted into my own mind. As usual.
I started this post in those moments of terror and exhaustion and I’ve been beating myself up a little having been in Germany almost a week without having posted anything. I lost those moments of emotion that started this page, at first I was angry but now I’m glad. The first day I arrived was a mixture of misery and beauty, the second exhausted me further though I did quite enjoy myself, and it wasn’t till I sat in a car, talking to my amazing sister and on the way to a lake, driving through vineyards draped in roses that I realized I had entirely given away my power and allowed the very things I was worried about to take control over me. Like the people who irritate me so, like the possibility of keepings ones feet on the ground when gifted with wings, I had sunk into a place of pushing opportunities away and playing the victim. It wasn’t for long, not at all, but it was a glimpse of a different choice, a different path that I could have fallen down. The product of this would have been an amazing trip lost and a girl who forgot what she came here for.
In the five months after I returned to America I had slowly began to find a center, a place of peace and joy but also passion and fire that was mine and mine alone. In eating healthy, writing, reading, creating, and taking care of my body did I find a happiness I have never known before, and it was mine to give unto myself, not needing the influence of others or any one person to hand it to me. I almost lost it a few days ago.
You see I’ve been spiraling all over the board here, but what I am trying to pull together is that we all make choices in regards to our own happiness, and it is up to us to make the right ones and to hold on to our own strength. I left Germany in December with the determination to only let it expand me and push me into going places I had never dared step before. And it worked I grew and changed in ways I never could have imagined. So naturally I thought I was totally and completely prepared for this “growing and changing” thing the second time around.
But if I had been ready…would it really have been what I needed?
I don’t think so.
It’s been a wonderful almost-week. I’ve turned about five shades darker from the blazing sun (when they were complaining about the heat at 30 degrees I was so confused…until I realized they meant Celsius) I felt the beat of drums in my chest and was crushed by bodies at festival plopped atop a hill, lit by lights strung up in the sky, I’ve laughed so hard I had to fall on the ground and gasp for air, and I have let go of the bird (insider here, you’ll have to guess) I held tight to for so long. We all think we know what we want, but I find that most of the time we have no idea what we need. And I’m still not sure, today has been one of the best and yet most emotional of the trip so far. It’s funny how that happens, isn’t it? The stark contrast between the things that make us happy and the things that force us to change. But I am making the choice to find happiness in this beautiful place.
My sister, despite being diagnosed as a total blonde, wisely said to me that someone could be in the best and most amazing place in the world but still be miserable because of the choices they made and the mindset they could set themselves in. Emmie and I are still learning, we are still growing, and sometimes we are not open to it. I don’t know about her but sometimes I want to scream and throw things till the world gives me what I want. Unfortunately it usually doesn’t work. But we are here together, surrounded by some of the kindest people in the world and learning alongside of each other, which in itself is a huge blessing.
This introduction to my trip was not the one even I expected, I thought it would be all butterflies and rainbows as that is typically how I feel about Europe. But it is real, a part of me that I am choosing to share with you. I could post fluff, butterflies, and rainbows, but that is not what I’m here to do. There are a million blogs about how beautiful Europe is, and a million and one about how fabulous one feels. I believe in those things, but I also want to be me and find out even more of myself along with you. I’m sixteen going on seventeen and I have so much to discover. Unfortunately because of my fears and doubts I missed out on a few things the first two days here, so I will make up for it with living the next few weeks bigger and better than ever before. Will you join me a second time? Coming up next is info on what Germans think of gluten free (ohaa) and exactly how many times me and my sister screamed at each other while playing cards, as well as events we are looking forward to such as visiting the Dome in Mainz and a Circus…and then…of course, the love of my life, Paris.
But as Aslan said…nothing does happen the same way twice. The world changes as do people and to experience the same place in the same exact way would be impossible. One evening I sat on the porch, under German stars, and asked a boy what his three wishes would be if he was given a golden lamp like Aladdin. After asking him I realized I myself would not want such wishes for I believe there is a greater plan out there for me and to wish for something would be too much in my own control. But if I did have just one it would be that every year continues to grow better, every day is fresh, and every visit to Europe brings me more joy and laughter then the one before.
So lets pretend we have wings now and lets fly, forgetting our fears and reaching always for the best that is yet to come. Tschüss! (YES I am wearing scottie puppy pants and NO I will not be taking them to Paris)