Thank you, Sweden, for teaching me that I am okay.

Today, I took a solo day trip – something I had yet to do since my arrival in Sweden. I hopped on a train and got off in Motala, a beautiful town located on Lake Vättern and part of the Göta Kanal. I walked from the train station to the city center, found a cute cafe in the harbor and grabbed myself a bite to eat. I wandered over to the Motor Museum, grabbed an ice cream bar and sat on the pier in what may very well be one of the most beautiful days in the two weeks that I have been here.

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Since I got here I found myself feeling a bit unsteady. Not really having a routine, my brain has been in a constant whirlwind of thoughts. I’ve had a lot of fun, and I have seen a lot, but today I needed to take some time to explore things on my own.

Today, an incredible thing happened. Something people always talk about but it never feels like it will happen. Today, I made peace with myself. I forgave the people in my past – with or without an apology – I let my worries go, and I found my center. It’s something I have struggled to do, and today sitting in the harbor in a foreign country watching the waves, something within me finally clicked. I felt free. I felt full of life. Emotions crashed over me, and I felt like crying and screaming and laughing all at the same time, but that click was definitely there. Something I had been looking for finally made sense. I finally made sense.

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In life, I feel like we take things for granted. Money, happiness, friends, family, health. It’s all taken for granted. I’ve spent a good chunk of my life feeling like I’ve been in a trance; feeling lost, sometimes confused, sometimes alone. But what I realized today, what I wish I had realized sooner, is that it’s okay. It is okay to be sad, and angry, and frustrated, or incredibly elated at everything. But it’s important to find your center. Every high has a low, what goes up must come down, every peak has a trough – it is all so true. But in the middle of the parabola of life, there is a center. Everyone has one. Sweden showed me mine. Sweden taught me that I am okay. 

xoxo

Your centered traveler

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Kiddo, you’ve got to love yourself

As you know, I am a second year BScN student in Ontario. That being said, my opportunities for abroad travel are very slim because of the specific course requirements and practicum requirements that are put into place for our success. Fast forward to this year. In February 2016, I was presented with an opportunity I never thought I’d follow through on, one that I never thought in a million years would be possible. I was informed by my school’s International Office that there was a program this summer that would allow me to study for 4 weeks at Linköping University in Linköping, Sweden. I made an appointment with the International Office to go in that same day, and I filled out the application to the university, not even really thinking about actually getting accepted. It is a super competitive program and I applied on the last day. Literally, I sat down and my advisor said to me “so it’s the last day to get applications in so if you are even thinking about it, apply. You can always withdraw the application later”. So, I did. And it may very well be the best decision I have ever made.

A little while ago, I came across this post on facebook:

KID

I came across it before I ever considered traveling abroad; and to be fully honest, its part of the reason I took that spur of the moment opportunity and filled out the application. Sure, I want to travel the world and explore new places and fall in love with stupid addresses (I’m looking at you, Sweden) but I realized then that even more so I wanted to explore my own mind, my own body and fall in love with myself. I think there are opportunities in life that you just cannot say “no” to – I think this is one of them. I’ve never fully known who I am – I’ve never really been “alone”. I’ve been through some things that have made me a better person, but I’m still deeply rooted in my past, and I need to break free of those roots and let myself grow – for the sake of me now, in this moment, and the me in 10 years who will be caring for patients in a hospital somewhere listening to their life stories and wishing I had taken chances when I could.

I’m tired of living my life in the passenger seat – doing what I think people would want me to do and not doing what I want to do. I’m a people pleaser – I always have been. I seek approval for my actions, and never, ever do anything without running it by someone else first. I want people to want me, to love me. But the sad part is, while I was so busy trying to make people love me, I forgot to love myself.

And it’s really about time that I start loving myself.

xoxo,

your little world traveler.