"You're listening to someone else's story. Listen to your own." - the Universe
I’m typing this on the plane to Seoul so heads up mom and dad I’m alive and well!! Doing amazing considering there’s an open seat next to me #blessupangels. I was stopped by TSA in St. Louis, but I naturally sweet-talked the officer about Whole Food’s raw veggie chips on sale so we gucci. T-minus 5 hours until I arrive in Seoul for my connecting flight for Bali 💃🏽 Who’s excited?! THIS GAL IS!!
Alright so I could go on about how I’m stoked to for my gap semester in Bali (that’s a given), but I should also note it hasn’t been all happy dances and excitement 24/7 the past week.
Allow me to paint the picture: one day before I headed to Chicago to apply for my Indonesian visa, I managed to lose my driver’s license and all of my credit cards, cancel all my cards and replace my license, only to find them the next day; then the next I drive to Chicago through a midwestern crazy thunderstorm (swear it was probs a tornado which is my biggest fear) at night by myself to to apply for my visa very, very last minute.
Plus, I’ve had this pit of loneliness I've never experienced before, and have definitely experienced my fair share of solo-travel fears, anxiety, and doubts. Aka will I have the right clothes? Am I overpacking? Underpacking? Holy f am I sure I can do this? Do I have to declare my trail mix at customs? What am I going to do for24 hours on a plane? etc. You get the point. Irrational or not, you could say there’s been a lot going on in my noggin.
I 100% believe everything happens for a reason and the Universe is always pointing us in the right direction no matter the circumstances, but I just couldn’t understand why everything was happening at once. Then, as I was walking in the park a few days before leaving, I received a message from the Universe that stopped me in my tracks (literally).
The Message That Stopped Me In My Tracks
So, here I am strolling along in the park, listening to a podcast as I do (this time From the Heart: Conversations With Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen which I highly recommend), when all of the sudden I heard this message radiate through my body:
"You're listening to someone else's story. Listen to your own."
In that moment I knew this message came from a power much higher than myself. I could tell by its truthful essence--the way it felt—that it was an internal billboard trying to get my attention. In reality, I was using Yoga Girl's words o wisdom instead of listening to what my internal guidance was trying to show me. THE FUCKKK Universe just hit me with some truth.
Finding the Lessons in My Pre-Travel Chaos
Once I finally stopped for a second, I realized exactly the message the Universe was sending me.
I can choose to see these rather unfortunate events as "rough" and take the "I'm a victim to my circumstances" standpoint, or I can thank the Universe for putting each lesson in my path for a reason and for preparing me for what's to come next. The Universe places each situation in front of me at the exact right time, and holds a lesson in each experience, and once I truly listen to what's coming up for me instead of trying to block out my fears with Yoga Girl's words, shopping, or making countless packing lists to distract myself, I hear the message within the fears and chaos.
Where the magic happens: Whenever we make a huge shift in life, it's bound to bring up a whole lot of shit. Shit you didn't even know existed within you. Shit you thought you healed a long time ago. Shit you didn’t think would ever affect you. But in these crucial times, if we choose to TRUST that everything that comes up is here to teach you a lesson at the exact right time it is meant to be heard, and we LOOK at those lessons with open eyes and an open heart, that we transform.
That is when we are on the edge of freedom.
PART 1: LOVING THE CHAOS
I LOVE my fears. I LOVE these chaotic events. Ok, ok maybe not in the moment, but looking back I can see the Universe artfully places these experiences on my path as a test. Ever notice that once you're comfortable, you're faced with yet another challenge or your plans are totally switched up? Yep, that's basically the Universe's way of saying, "oh, so can you really handle this?" For me the challenge was, "Can you really handle traveling solo?" And to that I'd say damn straight I can. Or maybe I'm just competitive.
Fears have a beautiful way of pointing you in the direction of where you do want to go and bringing up exactly what needs to be healed or transformed within.
PART 2: FINDING THE LESSON IN THE CHAOS
For me it’s super important to actually name the positive side of things that seemed negative or chaotic in the moment. Everything happens for a reason, but it’s up to you to shift your perspective to discover the lessons and magic within the chaos.
Losing my cards: Now I know how to go about canceling my cards, ordering new ones, and getting a replacement ID if this were to ever happen overseas.
Driving to get my visa: I conquered my fear of driving in the pouring rain (pouring is far from an understatement it was seriously like 0% visibility or maybe I’m exaggerating who knows), traveled to a city by myself, and had to apply for a visa on my own. This was just a taste of what solo travel will be like for me.
Loneliness: This trip is stripping me of everything I know, everything I am comfortable with, to make way for a new, freer way of living. I musty allow the space to be empty to uncover the truths of my identity. Separating the old from the new, and redefining how I see myself.
Travel fears: These minuscule fears are just the ego's way of keeping the mind busy and covering big, deep-rooted fears, like the fear of not being good enough on my own, the fear of not being in control, the fear of being cut off from the people I rely on. It's time to address what's laying beneath.
PART 3: TRUSTING THE UNIVERSE (AND THE CHAOS)
Now, try with all your might to just let go and TRUST the universe. You are supported, held, and everything is working out in your favor whether you think it or not. The Universe has your back, and you're never alone in this journey. It’s all good babe.
My plane is about to decent so it’s time for me to put my tray table up and sign off :) Sending all my love from the air over South Korea! Find your chaos, find your lessons, trust the universe.
Rock on you rockstar,