The world has never felt small to me, but it has also never felt big. When I was little, I firmly believed that it was pretty much impossible that car trips from North Carolina to Missouri could take 14 hours and that it was all this big show my parents put on—that if they really wanted to, we could be there in much less time. Obviously I’ve reached the point of accepting those 14 hour drives as a necessary evil, but the world still has only ever seemed as big as a flight to California, with the occasional jaunt over to Europe.
Foreign countries were just that-foreign. Not mine, unknown and too far to be concerned about. The only time my mind ever drifts to other places is when I am craving some adventure and something out of the norm. That’s what the US is to me. It’s situation normal. I can travel anywhere around this country and feel a sense of peace and belonging. How incredible is that? All these states, all this land, and millions of people and I can confidently say I could make my life work in any state. Sure, I’d be happier in some locations than others, but I feel like no matter where I am, I’d be able to settle down and be happy.
So why is another country so daunting? I’ve been trying to find the words to express all the thoughts racing through my mind, and I’m still not sure I have them. I know I’m going. I’ve accepted I’m going. In my mind I know that come next February I will be sitting on a flight to Australia, but it’s still hard to believe. Suddenly my world feels so small and THE world seems so big. Maybe that’s what it is. I’ve discovered the world I have made for myself is incredibly small, and the world I’m jumping into is massive. Have I limited myself by “nesting” so comfortably in North Carolina?
I think we all limit our lives to a certain extent. We find a happy place, a comfortable routine and we thrive. Once you have “the good life,” it’s hard to imagine pressing your luck and searching for more. What’s wrong with being content? Absolutely nothing. My life has been exceptional up to this point, and if it had continued down the same path that kept me in North Carolina, I’d be very happy and content, but it didn’t. I am off for a new adventure, and I’m terrifyingly excited.
If my life were a musical, I feel like this is the point in the post where I burst into song about letting it go, or defying gravity (friends, please tell me you get the references), but alas, my life is way too normal, and my voice is way too terrible for that to be a good idea for anyone. I will say that I will miss so many things about my known world here. It’s nearly impossible to truly comprehend and accept the fact that I’m leaving my life here.
Eventually I will come to terms with that, but for now I am just thankful for the opportunity to make my world bigger. I’m excited to feel unlimited by my own expectations for what my life will become. In the wise words of Robert Frost, “two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by.” And I truly hope it will make “all the difference” in my life.