05 August 2012

I'm an Olympian

Gabby Douglas won Gold.  She is on the Corn Flakes box.  She is 16 years old.  She knew what her dream was when she was 11.  She took huge risks and left her family to follow her dream.  When she felt like giving up, she stuck with it.  She knew what her goal was and she was going for it.  She had conviction.  She wanted to be an Olympian, so she invested everything.  And sacrificed time with family, friends and community to achieve her dreams.

So... when will I know what I want to be when I grow up?

When will my Gabby Douglas conviction set in?

I'm still trying to figure out what to declare... in life!  Do I want a Masters in Fun? How about an MA in Write my Own Schedule or Be My Own Boss.  Do you know who offers a PhD in Three Day Weekends with an emphasis in Late Start Mondays, Early Finish Thursdays?

Nonconformity works for me! And of course I love a good adventure.  I've bounced around a bit.  Sometimes its for fun and sometimes its because I just can't decide what exactly I want to do... so I try to mix things up and hope the answer will... arrive.

I'm still waiting.

Well, not exactly. (I'm not so good at waiting for things to come to me, I'm a bit better at making things happen, anyway... )

Globetrotting, travel and exploring cultures are my forte!

It gives meaning and richness to my life.  I love how I connect with people when I'm abroad. Finding those likeminded people is just downright exciting and totally invigospiring* (new vocabulary - credit to Kahlil).  There is something magical about being abroad, I can't quite explain it.

Don't get me wrong, I love home - my family is here, its where I grew up, and many long time friends.  And Northern California is downright awesome.  I could not ask for a better place to call home.

AND yet... In just 5 short weeks I'll pack up two suitcases and fly several thousand miles away, 14 hours of plane travel and across an ocean.  I will go alone, and arrive to a country I've never been to and know virtually no one.  I will start from scratch, in pursuit of this idea of what I want my life to be like.
When Gabby moved several thousand miles away from her family to pursue her dream, she got homesick. She wanted to go home and back to her family, where things felt safe and certain (and she was like 13, remember).  I totally understand that (I'm 28 and 3/4).

I am having my own Olympic trials.

Where I'm at now is nice, and safe, and cozy, comfortable and beautiful.  I love visits with grandma, weekend trips to see my sister, mani/pedis with mom, visits with dad and the idea of sinking some roots and being more consistently part of the community here. Sounds good, right?

Let the Olympics begin!  It goes something like this:

Why am I leaving? maybe I should stay... I have it so good here.  Oooh airfare is so cheap in Europe,  Milan is only a $40 flight! Wow the beaches look awesome in Barcelona, I can't wait to see the Alhambra in Granada and wine tours and walk the Camino de Santiago... I wonder if I'll make friends with lots of Europeans? Or Spaniards? or expats?  Where will we eat dinner, whats the food like? is the wine really better?  I wonder what I'll do for my birthday, and Thanksgiving, I love my mom's stuffing, aw man I'll miss my nephews first Christmas, crap.

And if I stay? I'll miss all those experiences in Spain.

Allow me to say something very true, not that original, perhaps profound, I'm sure you've heard it before.

Life is full of sacrifices and hard decisions.  Waaaa

Sometimes you get a Gold medal and sometimes you just keep faith that the journey is all worth it.

(and confessions of Olympic trials of mental gymnastics!)


  1. C´mon, we both know you'd get cabin fever if you stayed put :)

  2. Loved this article and it's an inspiration to see how you're engaging ambiguity and how you're consciously seeking new places to expand your comfort zone.

    Hoping to be a (at least small) part of your journey in Spain (if I make it to Valencia after all ;-)).


  3. lol Laura - you are so right. bah! Is it that obvious?

    Anna-Maria lets def meet up in Europe somewhere! Spain, Germany, or maybe visit my friend who lives near Gibralter and we can go to Morocco? =)