Today I realized that six years ago was the beginning of manifesting European living in my American life. I was a European Studies major in my last year of university. I was a year into intensive French. I had made the decision to select a program that required studying abroad because I wanted the experience to be non-negotiable.
Though, when I had made those decisions, I made them on faith. I hadn't yet been to Europe. I had studied it, spent semesters in literary immersion, watched countless films and documentaries, but the personal experience of it was only a dream at the time.
I wasn't a traditional student. There were unplanned gaps in my undergraduate studies. I started a career as a colorist between my sophomore and junior years, and then scheduled my work in a way that would allow me to complete my degree. After all, I had a feeling I'd regret not finishing more than I would mind having an intense schedule for the next two years. So, I honored the way that schooling looked like for me.
Six years ago...
I didn't go to the study abroad program I was supposed to. I had accepted my place in the program on the condition that I could miss two days of classes (there was a strict attendance policy). They had given me permission to miss two class days to fly back to the States for my best friend's wedding, and when a new director came on board and learned about the agreement, he found it unacceptable, rescinded the offer, and had the program coordinator inform me that if I did go and missed class, I would be penalized regardless if I made up the work.
I let her know to offer my place (and scholarship) to another student. There was no way I was going to miss my best friend's wedding. And it concerned me that a written agreement that I had arranged in advance would be suddenly disregarded, so I had a feeling that staying in the program and going to the wedding anyway would not end well.
I could have 1. freaked out, 2. considered missing the wedding (my BFF said she would understand, but I didn't want to miss her day), 3. worried about not being able to graduate on schedule because it was required to study abroad...
But I didn't—well, at least not for long.
Because I had the wherewithal to ask myself: "But what if there is another way? What if I could study abroad AND not miss the wedding?" #bestofbothworlds
While I had thought I had searched every possible study abroad option, it turned that out that alas, I had not. This second round of searching led me to discover one program that started days after her wedding date. To find a program that would offer the classes and credits I needed AND start later than most official program dates, made finding this program akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Thank goodness.
The summer that followed literally changed my world. Most importantly, it was living proof of honoring the experience my heart and soul yearned for. Like any year, there were devastating experiences I was simultaneously going through, but I could manage them because I was clear on my foundation. I knew I could always come back to myself, and I knew my life could be created each day a different way, if needed. I could trust myself to figure it out, and always find joy along the way.
As I look back, I could have said no, given up, given in to hundreds of reasons to not try again, but I am grateful for the part of me that was dedicated to finding a way. And also, by letting go of what wasn't working, it actually opened me up to a better option. As I look back, I recognize that all the people, memories, and places I truly love in my life came from a moment of asking myself: "But what if I could?"
So, that time I flew from Texas to Brussels to San Francisco and back to Paris within 10 days? It was completely worth it. To be able to look back now, and know I honored what I truly wanted, and that everything else found a way, is yet another reminder that the bigger picture always favors the bold.
Recommended Aromatherapy Ritual for Cultivating Boldness:
Bergamot for inspiring self-acceptance, optimism, and confidence
Roman Chamomile for support in living one's spiritual purpose
Spearmint for accessing the light within and cultivating the confidence to convey one's true self
Wild Orange for inspiring feelings of abundance and joy
If you'd like to expand your collection of pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils:
Recommended Reference Guide: Essential Oils + Emotions, 6th Edition
Ready for your next bold step? Join me in upcoming programs! I'm leading A House in Order, a twelve-week online series to masterfully uplevel each area of your life begins August 1st + I'll be in Switzerland this October hosting the Ultimate Uplevel Retreat.
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