I have something to share. No, it isn't the all site seeing details of my recent trip to Italy. Yes, of course I had an amazing vacation. I spent time with dear people, I saw things that blew my mind, and I ate food that cannot be reproduced. All of that is true. I don't intend to post every photo I took to various social medias. Mainly because a lot of the photos I took this time were very personal. Reminders of a moment shared with a dear friend or sister. And moments that will not translate when speaking on a vacation. For me, this was a time to escape and to relax in the beauty of something entirely outside my American life. It wasn't a time to live behind a camera, but in a moment.
Getting to my original point, the thing I'd like to share. Before I left I had some serious working through to do. I wanted to land in Italy with little weight on my shoulders. So, the weeks leading up to my departure I began heavy meditation, trying to clear my mind of things that may be taking up space while I should be enjoying myself. And when I finally arrived, I felt ready to relax and be away. I didn't realize I'd come back with a completely renewed sense of life quality. A renewal that I would bring back to the states, and live each and every day since I've been reintroduced in to reality like a baby gorilla being released back into the wild.
This flash of awareness, if you will, happened on a drive. My friend and I were having a very deep, philosophical conversation when silence fell, I heard my heart tell my mind to be quiet and be still. It was at that moment I looked out of the passenger side window to see the Mount Vesuvius. Yes, one of Italy's active volcanoes. In a matter of seconds I felt a strange sweeping peace and sudden enlightenment. As if what I had been searching for was finally found. Looking at the volcano made me feel detached from pointless ramblings in my head, and 100% connected to the bigger picture. I felt the moment of release. I buried something there, something that I can't find because I left it in the moment when I decided "live, and then live some more" was the only truth I could reside within from here on out.
The next few days I was quiet in one part due to my limited Italian vocabulary. But, I was also quiet because I had nothing to say. Instead, I had plenty to listen to and plenty to gaze upon. And this, I believe, was the purpose for me even being there. And for whatever reason , I knew it was meant to be that I was far away from home and my reality. The location was necessary as I am naturally tactical. For a complete change of focus, I had to feel it in my hands. And I did. I felt it when sand slipped through my fingers on the beach. When salt water stuck to my skin, and when I soaked in warm volcano water days later. Renewal.
They day I left, saying goodbye to my friend, whom I don't really even know when I will see again for sure, and to my sister as she left to return to Houston, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself content. I wasn't sad and I didn't even cry when I said my final farewell. Instead, I smiled ear to ear. Knowing I was equipped to bring back this peace I had found and work to share it with those I love. And that's exactly what I did. Each day I have found myself feeling joy and calm and letting go of useless hurt feelings and negative thinking that keeps me bound to an unfulfilled existence. It's just not worth living in a wounded state on thinking. My life is precious and my time is limited. What is the point wasting my own time with things that are either out of my control or issues that do not generate the outcomes I seek?
Everywhere I go I'm told I seem lighter, friendlier, happier, even that I look more attractive. Someone even told me I was glowing. Well, joy is impossible to hide and it is also contagious. And I desire to be a light in someone's life. I choose to be a positive spot in someone's day. And I choose to keep dreaming for myself even when I haven't the faintest clue how I'm going to accomplish some of the goals I've set for myself. The important part is that I'm trying to accomplish them.
I did manage to take time to write a few things that I wanted to remember and reflect on later.
To be encouraged, be encouraging.
To be peaceful, let go of that which binds you to fruitless sorrows.
To be wise, learn something new every day.
To find mercy, be graceful.
To be beautiful, find the beauty in each day.
To be heard, take time to listen.
To be seen, take time to gaze.
To receive kindness, give without expectations.
To be loved, love someone deeply.