Before I decided to leave California to come live in Spain for a year, I pondered whether I was trying to do this one-stage-too-late in my life. I know what you may be thinking, “Sara, you’re still young, what are you even saying?”
And it is true, I won’t argue that. But, it is important to acknowledge that I have other goals and dreams I’ve been pursuing since I was younger. I was afraid of losing out and I’m not shying from admitting that. I’ve been wanting to pursue living abroad since I was 8 years old, after my father spent a year finishing a Master’s degree in Madrid, but I thought I’d be doing it at a younger age than I am now. I thought that maybe I’d be following my dad’s step with a Master’s program but I soon found out this wasn’t (and still isn’t) in my radar. So, I thought, that was it, there is no reason or purpose for me to live a year abroad.
Until, there was one; it was more of a simple sign, at first. But, I was 28 years old by now and I had been working professionally for about 4 years and felt that I may be “throwing away” some valuable time of my professional life! It was important to me that I made sure I wasn’t screwing myself up or setting myself to some sort of rut. However, we can try so hard to prepare and still, the future may trick us…So, I learned that the most important thing here is to stay OPEN.
So, what does that mean? To me, to stay OPEN means to stay: Of-service, Present, Eager, Nurturing. I say it means to be of-service because it allows you the opportunity to provide beauty to others whatever that may be; to stay present because it’s the best form of living, to be eager to continue learning about other people, yourself, and the things of the world, and to remain nurturing so we can understand others and ourselves for a better future.
And so, in that sense, I’ve come to accept that I’m neither early, nor late. I am OPEN. I quit my last job as Present-Me saw fit and I am right where I am now. I’m open, in the present, and I am here because this is where this stage of my life needed to happen! My fears revolved around being older than the usual demographic seen in ‘gap-years’ and that I was possibly ruining my path to a professional career. But, living here, I’ve had a purpose in everything I do and I’ve learned so much!
….And, then I remember, my dad was 44 years old when he got that Master’s. And, never have I heard him say he was either too early, or too late– The time was just right. What a beautiful thing 🙂
What does OPEN means to you?