On January 26th, 2018 I will be moving across the world. From a small farm in southwestern Ohio to the center of the city of Prague.
I didn’t know Czech was a language until a few months ago. I definitely don’t speak it. I have never been out of the United States (besides to the other side of Niagara Falls a time or two). I have to take an international flight completely alone. The longest I’ve ever been away from home is about a month. I don’t know a single person in Central Europe.
So clearly, the obvious thing to do was move across the ocean to the Czech Republic for four months.
And I will be quite honest; I am terrified.
But that’s the really wonderful thing about being alive. Being terrified of things. And doing them anyways. And trying not to vomit.
Sometimes stuff like this seem like a great idea 6 months out and then you wake up and you’re leaving tomorrow and you kind of want to blend into your comforter. Sometimes leaving can be hard even when you really want to do it. Sometimes packing all of your life into two suitcases can make your head hurt. Sometimes hugging your mom goodbye and getting on a plane all alone will seem like Mount Everest. But you can climb it and do it and love it.
illustration by Maeve Scully (maevescullyphotography.com)
I’m leaving. Because in the chaos of college, we hear many well-intentioned voices telling us what we should do; what we should apply for; who we should hang out with; what we should major in; how we should spend our Thursday evenings; what we should enjoy; where we should go tonight. One day you’re talking about what you want to do in the future and realize the noise coming out of your mouth sounds a lot like everyone else and nothing like you. I’ve gotten pretty lost in the deafening roar of well meaning advice. I’ve been so busy listening to everyone else’s voices, I have basically forgotten what my own sounds like. So I’m putting an ocean between what I’m being told I should do and what I actually want to do. Because I can’t remember what that thing is anymore which is crazy because this is my life and I almost got bored of it!!! What!!!
We grow in the discomfort and we learn in the new stuff. I miss how it felt to see things for the first time and learn from people I’ve never met. “A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there.” I’m looking for some new scary, exciting, different, Czech-speaking soil.
So here’s to new things and old things and electricity converters and packing all the ibuprofen you can into a suitcase and having to narrow down your shoe choices to only 3 of your favorite 7 pairs of black boots and hugging soulmates goodbye and leaving your new home for an even newer one.
See you on the flip-side, America.