Backpacking through a foreign country sounds like something a crazy person would do, hence me. In fact, I'm borderline mental for dropping out of college against my parents' wishes and buying the first ticket to Ireland. Of course, after every choice I make, the what ifs plague me with their droning monologue. I smile in spite of the running thoughts that seem to reside over my cup of coffee, draining the last drop before standing.
After waving to the friendly owners, I hoist the bag onto my shoulders and set off to the countryside of Galway. I was never one for spontaneity in my teen years with overbearing parents and my trait of reservation. I'm learning how to socialize through this impromptu trip as well as find clarity for my purpose in this life. No distractions from my present surroundings, just the wild of the unknown. I made sure to trade my smartphone for a flip one and only carry what fits in a backpack. Liberation, to say the least. No social media comparison, no mindless scrolling, and no more time wasted.
Pulling myself from my head, I spot a couple strolling down a trail up ahead. The two giggle happily, lost in each other's touch of their hands. What a lovely pair, I sigh dreamily. I have the urge to go up to them and tell them just that, but the fear of talking with strangers settles in. Drawn-out thoughts in every colorful detail cloud that beautiful comment as I walk past. It doesn't take long for feelings of regret to appear to which I hastily turn around in a split-second decision.
"Excuse me?" My voice raises as I push through the anxious haze to compliment these strangers. They stop talking and turn to look at me curiously, wondering if I was speaking to them.
One finally breaks through the tense moment I brought upon, "Yes?"
Mustering what I can, I pull a purple note card from my bag and hand it to the one who spoke. "I want you to take this as a hope in your relationship...because I think you two have something beautiful."
They look at the paper and then me, smiling kindly. "Thank you, young lady, that's so sweet to hear. We actually met up again after 10 years by chance." The stranger who finally speaks looks to the partner fondly. "This just adds more proof that it's meant to be something great."
I give a small smile and wave as we part, two different paths were able to meet in the middle for something as small as kindness. My journey continues for a while until the sun begins to set. Miles of grass fields stretch to the cliffs hanging above the large body of water that I yearn to dive in. I feel the grass blades prickle my bare legs as I wade through towards a cliff. The wind breezes by and I inhale its freshness with content as I step out of my shoes to feel the ground beneath me. The sound of the sea as waves collide together or against the cliff fill me with calmness where a small tilt of my lips rises. I sit down a few feet from the edge, then fully lay starfish style. A sudden giggle rises with a few tears blurring my vision of what I always dreamed of. I would have never believed that I would be able to do what I want, knowing the risks. My life was revolved around what others said I should do, especially my parents. I was always pushed to my breaking point, no room for what I love when I had school to be pursuing and the unfulfilling work that comes along with it.
Now... I know I can be whoever I want to as long as I have the passion and drive. It's my turn to take control of my path and look forward---and I do. The moon begins to arise, taking the sun's shift of shining a light onto the world. Though not as bright, it still stands high and shines with everything its got in a time perceived as dark. I lay in the moon's glow, hoping to absorb its natural elements with the water's ferocity and calmness beneath me.
Sleep creeps upon me gently, to which I let it, knowing I will be safe in this world of my own. Dream, myself. Only for now, as your life awaits its new beginning you have set in motion.