Miles: “I am not afraid — I was born to do this.”

January 5, 2011

In two days, I will be leaving for Oslo, Norway, where I will be living/breathing/studying/eating/sleeping/writing until June. People have been asking me if I’m excited. “Yeah,” I say, shrugging my shoulders. People have been asking me if I’m nervous. “Yeah,” I say, making a joke. The questions are too simple. I don’t know how to explain it all, or, quite frankly, how to say it without crying.

I am good at doing the easy thing. Somewhere in high school, I created a pattern of comfort, of stagnation. I vividly remember watching a special on MTV about a man who bought a round-the-world plane ticket and traveled for a year and thinking Wow, I’d never want to do that. I mean, how could I? How could I leave my home, leave the people I love? I like doing the simple, I like doing what comes naturally to me. To take giant personal risks scares me more than anything. “Putting myself out there” terrifies me. I like just beinag dependable.

Now, for the most part, I like who I am. I love my giant squishy heart that oftentimes feels just a little too strongly. I like that I am emotional. I like that I’m sensitive. I like that I feel the need to overthink everything and analyze and write and think more. I like me — but now I want more.

During my sophomore year of college, I learned a lot about who I was. I learned about being myself, about being in a relationship, about asking for help. I certainly don’t feel “grown” yet, but I know I’m on my way. I think I’ve also learned that with all sorts of big changes that make me nervous/nauseous/terrified, there is something good at the end, something better. This big change will end in something better.

So all of this growing, plus having a great/stubborn girlfriend who helped show me that studying abroad was something I’d be sad to miss out on, has led me to now. Two days until I leave. I am scared. I know that the deepest part of me is excited, but it is currently being stifled by a layer of fear. This is when I draw on my yoga breaths and try to relax. This is when I try not to cry.

(That stubborn girl? She’ll be in Ecuador all semester. When I told my dad he said, “Wow, that sounds like way more fun.” He was thinkin’ about weather and sunlight and stuff that normal people enjoy. Bah, writers love the dark. It helps with our pain and suffering.)

This blog will be for Norway and those adventures. It will be for feelings about traveling, and maybe things I learn about myself along the way.


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