My sister once said to me,
“Sometimes I just feel like you are spending your life trying to prove a point. What point and to whom I am not sure”.
I completely understand why someone would think that about me. I’ve rushed through school with no clear aim in mind. I spend my life coming up with elaborate and fantastical plans that never happen. I find it hard to sit still, to focus, to care about something enough to see it through to the end. I’m the kind of person who will call herself an author but never finish the story. It’s a trait about myself that’s frustrated me to no end.
But all of that, that’s why this trip is just right for me. When the first person asked me ‘Why Iceland?’ I didn’t want to just spout off the generic answers (although they’re not wrong) without thinking about it. So I’ve been thinking about it. I’m not going to ‘find myself’. I know who I am. I’ve long accepted, embraced, who I am. I’m not going for the view, although that certainly helps. I am definitely not going for the bragging rights–I’m probably going to go home and want to tell everyone about my experience, but I don’t mean it in a demeaning way. It’s one of those ‘I would like for you to share in my joy’ kind of situations. I guess, if I had to put a name to it, I would say that I’m going for the stillness. Maybe I ended up with a cliche answer after all. I once had a prof describe her experience trekking the Camino de Santiago to me. She said that there was something overwhelmingly right with waking up every morning, putting on the same clothes you’d been wearing for the last week, eating the same meal you’d been eating everyday for days, and knowing that all you had to accomplish that day was to walk. Being still. Engaging your mind by exhausting your body, but not letting yourself get bogged down in details. Not even letting yourself get bogged down in someone else’s stillness. I guess at the end of the day I am making a major decision so as to avoid making all of the minor ones. It’s important to take a breath every once in a while. Maybe this particular breath will help me to breathe better once I come back. Maybe it won’t. That’s not the point of it all. Iceland’s not a strategy or an end game. It’s not a stepping stone to something more complex. It’s a beautiful country that’s just so happened to have chosen to let me be still for a while.
I don’t think I’m trying to prove anything, I hope I’m not. People will remind me that Europe isn’t going anywhere. I know it’s not. I know there’s no need to rush. But Iceland feels right. My life, at this pace, feels right. Most importantly, all of these dreams and plans feel right right now. There’s no reason why I have to do this trip, but there’s no reason not to. I want this. So I’m making it happen.