Nothing is ever final though, is it? These lessons are far reaching, all encompassing, and continuous. We are always learning, always growing, and I find a lot of comfort in that.
Two years ago, I started the journey of my becoming. I wrote on my Instagram, “currently experiencing a revolution.” And, wow, was I ever. I had no idea of the experiences coming my way. I had just purchased a one-way ticket to Ireland for that coming summer. I was riding an existential high that I have yet to recreate. But, it will come.
During that trip to Ireland, this list of 25 Lessons came to fruition. My ideas and the courage to start this blog came to fruition. The desire to continue the creative life I had left long ago, returned. I was becoming.
Becoming what? You may ask. Becoming who I was meant to be. Becoming my most authentic self. Becoming a witch. Becoming me.
The Final Five
I had a much different idea planned for this “final” portion of the 25 Lessons series. I had some arbitrary, relatable ideas drafted. But, I decided instead to use the five lessons I wrote down surrounding that solo trip across the ocean. They are just as true as they were two years ago. And, they will always be a reminder of the growth experienced through the fearless abandon I had in my twenty-fifth year.
However, because of the challenges I also experienced during that summer, I disconnected the important lessons I learned in that time. (Summer can be rough for some of us, remember?) But, I have finally accepted that even though they happened at the same time, they are two separate experiences. And, these lessons stand on their own. Just as I do.
21. Take the Road Not Taken
As Robert Frost famously wrote,
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—The Road Not Taken: A Selection of Robert Frost’s Poems
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
As an English Lit major, I’ve heard this quote many times in my life. I love a good cliché. But, it wasn’t until I decided to leave my tour bus & hike the side of the Cliffs of Moher, solo, just me & the mist from the ocean, that it really resonated with me. Always take the road less traveled by. Sure, it takes courage to walk your own path. But, the courage grants you the sights that others won’t get the chance to witness.
On the other side, or at the end of the path, you will find solace & direction. Direction into yourself. Far away from the voices of the mass crowds. You will see things that others don’t; flocks of birds diving from the side of a 700 foot cliff, or puffins quietly nesting on the edge of an island, or an ice cream shop on a hot, sunny day with no queue.
Maybe you will meet someone on this path. Someone that will change your life.
Maybe that person will be you.
A simple, genuine smile will go a long way. I have learned that people are inherently attracted to positivity. Good vibes bring good vibes, and all that. Good vibes also bring gifts. Gifts of abundance & gratitude, of magic, of shelter, of good food & good weed, and of new, lasting connections.
While travelling alone, I found that when others see you smiling, they are more inclined to smile too. They can’t help it, really. With that smile comes a helping hand in the form of directions to the next open hostel or an invite to the magical (and cost-free) music festival.
We can’t predict how someone is going to react to us. Especially when we are a stranger on the street in an unknown city. But, we can at least try to send positivity with a welcoming smile, in hopes they will send that positivity back to us. Couldn’t hurt, right?
Bonus: We become happier when we smile too!
23. Spend the money.
I should preface this lesson with the fact that I am not financially savvy by any means. Perhaps one day I will learn how to file my taxes, or find out what the benefits of an RRSP are, but, today is not that day.
What I am telling you with this lesson is that, sometimes, spending the extra money is worth it. I’m not rolling in cash because I live by the belief that money is meant to be spent. I’m currently doing the work to uncover where that belief stems from & what I can do about changing it, but that’s for a later blog post.
We are only here on this earth for a short time. So, why not live while we can? And, to me, that means a last-minute change of destination or, on a smaller scale, a side of chips with your beer at the pub.
If money is available to you, if you are bound to make more of it in the future, spend it with purpose, and without guilt!
24. Take the risk.
I write a lot about courage & bravery in these posts. The courage to be yourself, to live authentically, to say “no,” to buy the flight, to take the risk!
Amongst travelers, you hear the words, “I’m just going to find myself,” a lot. Even if you’re not going to “find yourself,” people will assume that’s what you’re doing out in the world anyway. What else would we be doing, buying a one-way ticket, or making a drastic move to a foreign country, if not to find out who we truly are?
We’ve created this assumption because on the other side of fear, we do find ourselves. Through being courageous & taking risks, we explore facets of our being that we would have never discovered if we hadn’t stepped out the door into the great unknown. And, yes, discovering those things is really scary! But, regardless of what happens after you take that step, you will have learned the lesson that risk was meant to teach you. And be that much better, and wiser, from it.
25. There are bigger things meant for you.
When we remain in our comfort zone, whether that be our hometown, a cushy job, or a toxic relationship (yes, those can be a space of comfort, too), we remain small. When we remain small, our energy remains stagnant. There is no space for us to move, and grow, and expand. Let me tell you; moving & growing & expanding feels so damn good. It feels like freedom. And power. And peace.
Travelers find this freedom with haste. Or, they do if they’re doing it right. Those wandering the world have the freedom to choose their next destination, “Valencia or Madrid?” and therefore, their next adventure. Freedom, and the feeling of “bigger,” quickly moves into other aspects of our lives as well. We return home and quit the soul-sucking desk job. Drop the deadbeat boyfriend. Let go of limiting beliefs. We do these things because we know now that there is a bigger world “out there” that has space for us & all of our dreams.
While I was checking in to my last hostel in Dublin, the man behind the counter tried to read my name out loud (a lot of people try this & fail). But, this guy knew his Polish pronunciation! He told me, in a very serious Irish accent, “With a name like that, you must be destined to do something grand. Something that’s going to change the world.” What a thing to say to a girl! I was at a loss for words as he handed my passport back to me. And I might have replied with a humble “thank you,” but I can’t be sure. However, I will always remember the feeling his words gave me. And I remind myself of them when I lose motivation to create, or the desire to love, or just to live.
Two years ago, under the full moon lunar eclipse, I wrote to myself, “I am so much more than I ever thought possible.”
Ah, Yes, the Conclusion
Well, my loves, I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of lessons from my, now twenty-seven, years of life on this wonderful earth. I’ve learned a lot through writing these posts as well, about myself, about the collective, about how hard it is to keep up with a blog! And, just like me, this space is becoming something I never thought it could be.
I would love to hear what you’ve thought after reading through these pages. What did you learn? What did you enjoy? What was a challenge to read?
To connect is one of my favourite activities. So, please let me know in the comments how it all has made you feel. Or, send me a little love note on the contact page.
There is so much more to come from The Wanderess Within! She is ready to become something bigger, too.
Like I told myself in the pages of my journal at the end of that summer, “Take a deep breath, the best is yet to come.”
With love ~ zz