In exactly one month, I leave on a plane to North Carolina and then South Carolina. For what you may ask? To spend three days with over 100 strangers – hanging out, exploring new sites, and cultivating new friendships with women who are on a journey to becoming a better woman today than they were yesterday – in all areas of their life. I know what you’re probably thinking… “why in the world would you do that?” The truth is, no matter how badly I want to explain my reasons, I know without a shadow of a doubt that many people won’t understand at the end of the day – and that’s okay. As I look back on the past five years of my life, I am in awe of how every little decision I’ve made has led me to the exact moment I am in today. The people I’ve met, the places and things I’ve experienced, and the personal growth I’ve endured… it truly blows my mind.
I’m someone who has always had a VERY open mind about anything and everything, and I believe that’s what has led me to being able to do things that may seem super scary at first and in the moment but change my life in the long run. I’ve come a LONG WAY. From someone who used to be terrified of trying new things and stepping into the unknown, to someone who intentionally looks for opportunities to challenge my current thinking and asking, “what can I do today that will make me uncomfortable and help me grow into the best version of myself?” Thinking and having a mindset like this does not and did not happen for me quickly. It has taken years of living the same routine of life and finally being sick and tired of not pursuing more.
My closest friends know this about me and have been dragged along with me in some of the big decisions I’ve made on the spot – such as the time I woke up one morning and randomly decided to go skydiving. I’m not sure where the thought came from to this day, but I remember just having the mindset of “why not?” As cliche as it sounds, YOLO. What did I do next? Sent a group text to my friends & asked if they’d joined me 😛 (hope they aren’t afraid of heights I told myself!) I remember being so excited…..all the way up until we were in the sky and there was no turning back. I wanted to back out, I wanted to cry, I didn’t want to do it anymore because it was uncomfortable and scary. But, I did it anyway and am a better, and more adventurous person because of that experience. I was able to experience and overcome something I was so terrified of.
Two other experiences I’ve had that involved me deciding to do something uncomfortable, scary, and unknown without understanding why I felt the urge to do it, was when I attended a CRU Retreat through UW-L and studied abroad in Seville, Spain for three weeks. Both experiences I had no idea what to expect going into them, and I didn’t know anyone besides myself. For those of you who know the OLD me… you’re probably wondering how I would be able to immerse myself amongst strangers, let alone fly across the country by myself when I am known to be directionally dysfunctional. I USED to be someone who wouldn’t go anywhere without having someone I know meeting me at said destination or tagging along with me. It’s safe to say that at the time, I didn’t understand how I could do it either.
I’ve always been someone to follow my gut, and that’s exactly what I did – and that’s exactly what I’m doing with my upcoming trip to the East Coast. I don’t understand what will come of it at this point, but I know that with time, or even when the trip is over and I am back home – I will be a different person. A better person. Just as I was with the other experiences I’ve had.