This time last year, everything was so different. The heartbroken girl that left Canada shaking and incredibly fearful for her future hasn’t shown her face in a vey long time. I suppose even that naive version of myself would have known as she boarded the plane that this was going to be an unpredictable adventure, but I doubt I could have ever imagined that I would be guided to where I am right now; manifesting what seemed like far-fetched dreams and turning them into a beautiful reality.
It’s unbelievable to think how in just 365 days, a life can completely transform. How a shattered heart can be mended by a man who, in a matter of weeks, makes you realize so many wonderful things about yourself that you had failed to notice in all the previous 29 years of you life. How people, that at one time seemed like the most important beings in your world, can simply vanish into thin air when times get tough. And, on the contrary, how long-time friends and family remain your biggest fans (even though you often wonder how your behaviour warrants such unconditional love). It will always amazes me how special souls can enter your life in the most unconventional of situations, and within minutes, become closer than kin. How a 50L backpack can make you feel like you have so little and so much all at once. And perhaps best of all, how when you simply listen to your heart and stop worrying about the future, the universe provides everything you’ll ever need.
Imbedded in the fourteen countries I’ve explored over the past 52 weeks are countless once-in-a-lifetime moments that I will cherish forever. Amongst these are dozens of past memories I have been carrying around with me that I desperately wish I could forget. I sprinted from my ‘Kelowna life’ with an intense urge to create new experiences in hopes of erasing the old ones that so deeply pained my heart. Yet, there are still days that these memories knock the wind right out of me, and no matter how many cleansing processes or sun salutations I practice, I just can’t seem to shake them. Until recently, my strategy had always been to focus only on the positive in each day (of course, certain days required me to concentrate a little bit harder than others). But as I continue to delve deeper into this ongoing process of self-discovery, I’m beginning to see that perhaps it’s not about purging the not-so-fabulous events of my past or covering them up with rose coloured glasses. Maybe the real growth comes from accepting that without every last one of these incidents, I wouldn’t be the me I am today. Every ounce of pain, every mascara-running tear, every fierce stab of guilt was for purpose. And like any well-orchestrated plan, every single step has played a crucial role in the process of me rediscovering myself and my sparkle. A sparkle that I now see has been there the whole time, just dimmed and clouded over by a veil of self-doubt.
I’ve always taken pleasure in writing and initially I created this blog in an effort to keep my family informed of my location in this big, crazy world. However, over the course of my travels, gypsyglittersoul has evolved into something more. Each week I continue to receive beautiful messages from strangers who have stumbled across my site, read a few posts and become inspired. For me, this will always be a baffling concept as I can’t quite wrap my head around the notion that someone could idolize me for my decision to buy a plane ticket in an attempt to turn (what was becoming a train-wreck of a life) into something more positive. I mean, when it comes down to it, all I did was run away. But then I suppose that was always the scariest part; letting go and leaving the comforts of what I’d always known, defying the status quo, and surrendering to the fear of the unfamiliar. I can vividly recall my life this time last year; all the people who tried to persuade me that I was crazy for quitting my job, how many times I believed myself too unworldly to succeed anywhere on this scary planet, and how often I stood in my own way by telling myself that I didn’t deserve the happiness I was seeking.
Having surprised everyone else (and most importantly myself) since those days before departing home, I now feel I have something to offer the sweet souls willing to reach out to me. I’ve lived through it and come out on the other side shining, and so my response to these angels will always be the same. . .
Everything you have ever wanted is on the other side of fear. Every accomplishment you seek simply begins with your decision to try; start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly a year will fly by and you’ll find yourself doing what you once thought impossible. It makes no difference what your heart is asking for; maybe you want to travel, have a family, play music, quit your job, or walk away from a relationship that’s no longer serving you … whatever you long for, just take the leap of faith.
Trust that in following your heart (your deepest truth), you will always be looked after by a greater force. There is no need to worry about the fate of your future when you act from a place of love and honesty; the universe cannot resist your authenticity. When you surrender to the process, like magic, doors will continue to open.
No matter what, keep moving in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have always imagined; I assure you, the colours of this new existence are brighter and more beautiful that you ever thought possible.
This isn’t to say that there won’t be obstacles along the way. My path of self-discovery has, of course, presented challenges at times. I’ve endured exhausting training days, feelings of intense loneliness, heart-wrenching goodbyes, stomach bugs that made me literally want to curl up on the filthy bathroom floor and die, and more disappointing rejections than I care to admit. But as I reflect on the past year, there was not one thing that presented itself that I was incapable of handling. And, in hindsight, it has become so screamingly obvious to me that those moments of rejection were actually just gracious gifts of re-direction; creating space for something more perfect to emerge.
So whether I expected it or not, over the course of the pat year I’ve definitely changed. I’ve grown up, I’ve learned to live with less, I’ve proudly been myself on purpose, I’ve found fulfilment in helping others, I’ve surrounded myself with beings that believe in all the same things I do, I’ve surrendered to the notion that I am not always in control, and most importantly I’ve manifested a way to share something I’m so deeply passionate about with the whole world. I’ve felt and experienced the bliss of discovering what I was put on this earth to do, my true calling in life, and this makes me wonder how I could possibly do anything else. How I could ever again settle for less than 10/10 happiness. How I could go back to living someone else’s idea of who or what I should be. What started off as a decision to travel for a year, has proved to be so much more than just the seeing of sights. It has cultivated a deep and permanent change in my idea of living.
Surrender to what is. Accept what was. And have faith in what will be.