Learning independence is one of the most difficult lessons growing up and everyone has their own significant milestones with that in their life. For some it may be ordering their own food for the first time or driving alone. But for me, it was flying alone. I've been on a plane more times than I can remember, but I always traveled with one or both of my parents. At least, until a few weeks ago, when I finally set out on my own adventure.
My parents dropped me off at the airport and said their goodbyes, and at that point it was difficult to tell who was more nervous, me or them. I've been 18 for a while now and it wasn't until that moment where I finally felt like an adult. After checking in, going through security, and sitting on the plane next to a stranger, I didn't find myself stressing out like I thought I would be. I was overcome with peace and confidence, proving to myself that I can handle being on my own.
When I landed in Boise, Idaho, I was somewhere I had never been, in a foreign environment, but I wasn't scared. I've been traveling my whole life and so I thought to myself, "What makes this any different?" I knew what to do, and I knew where to go, for it was all instinctual. I was off on my own, making my own decisions with no agenda, deciding everything in the moment. With the open landscape, the mountains, the fresh air, I was finally able to breath for what felt like the first time. Compared to the city I live in, this was a paradise. It was freeing.
It was a last minute trip, but I knew it was something I needed to do before I go off to college. I move in to my dorm in less than two weeks, and everyday I look back and remember how I felt in those moments out in the world by myself. Confident in my abilities to take care of myself and to make the right decisions. But confidence wasn't the only thing I gained, because for the first time in a long time, I felt alive in myself again. It's a surreal feeling that I was missing in my life and now one that I seek out in everything I do.
It's important to find that thing in life that lights your soul on fire. For me, it's traveling and new experiences. Even though it scares me, my desire to live is greater than my fear. So I urge everyone to find that feeling for themselves, for it's truly life changing.