Is It Really Going To Change Things?

For the past year, all I have thought about is my trip to Spain.  For the past year, this has been what has kept me going.  For the past year, this is what gave me a reason to look forward to tomorrow.  There are less than 68 days remaining until I embark on my first trip out of the country.  It is also my first ever real vacation and the longest (and farthest) I have ever been from my friends and family.  I am going to spend 27 days in an entirely different environment than I have ever been in.  It will be, without a doubt, a life changing experience.  My question is, what happens when I get back?

As I said, the past year has been spent thinking about my trip to Spain, but little has been discussed as to what will happen upon my return.  I mean, I plan on returning to work the Monday after I get back and presumably I will do the same job.  But what happens next?  I have spent a great deal of my life living in a routine.  I wake up at the same time, I go to work on the same days, I watch the same programs on TV.  In many ways, I have become very settled in my routines and for that reason I am looking forward to my trip as it will be a chance to break free of the monotony and experience new and exciting things.  My big concern now is that once I come back, I will simply once again settle into my routines, and if that’s the case, why am I even going on this trip?

The past few days have been rather dull for me.  I won’t say depressing, as that would be too negative, but there really hasn’t been much positive or negative to talk about.  I tell myself day after day just to be patient and my trip will be here, but now I fear it will come and go too quickly and I’ll find myself back in my mundane world, back to just living out my days instead of truly living my life.  On one hand, I don’t expect to be a different person when I come back, that would be asking for too much, but at the same time if I just go on living my same old life when I return what is the point of the trip?

I went to see my friend the other night and we talked a great deal about my trip and how it will indeed change my life, even if not dramatically.  Her hope for me is that it allows me to see the world from a new point of view and realize that I can survive anywhere and do anything and that I do not need to be tied to my home here.  I thanked her for her inspiring words and felt better after we talked that maybe I would come home with new eyes on the world, and more importantly, new found confidence in myself.  This trip, on the surface, is a journey to help me better speak the Spanish language but underneath it all, it is really a challenge to me, to see if I can survive on my own, outside of my comfort zone in an entirely new environment and let myself for once come out of my shell and let myself enjoy life.  I need this chance to be away from anyone who knows me as it is the only way I will truly be able to come out of hiding and let those around me see the real me.  Yes, it is extremely important to me that I come home speaking more fluent Spanish than when I arrived, but if I can survive a month in Spain, meet new people and experience things I would have never experienced otherwise, the language aspect will be secondary.  I want to come home not only with the ability to speak Spanish, but the confidence to speak Spanish, and more importantly, the confidence to make the decisions I need to make in order to be happy.  I am slowly learning what I need and what I don’t need in my life, and I think upon returning from Spain, I will realize how little I actually need to get by and how easy it is to start out on a new path.

I doubt I will quit my job or move to an island in the first few weeks I am home, but I imagine I will have a lot to say about my journey and maybe my friends and family will be able to offer me advice as to what should be my next step.  I know I am tentatively scheduled to go to Chicago for training in July and after that, a whole slew of new doors will be opened for me within the McDonald’s world.  I am not saying I plan on staying with the company forever, but for the time being it may be my best bet.  I have thoughts of moving on to different positions, but still remaining within the McDonald’s structure.  We’ll see how that all goes.  I may decide it’s time to move on completely, but that truly is a giant step and right now I am still focusing on baby steps to get me where I need to go.  Surely there are those who will insist I need to make great strides as opposed to baby steps in order to get what I want, but that would be a radical change for me and I am not sure I am at that point yet.  I’ll get there.

I guess my biggest fear now is not changing as opposed to changing.  I don’t want to find out I did all this preparation for something that will, in the end, be nothing more than 27 days of my life.  I want this to count for so much more.  I’m ready for this trip, but in truth I am ready for what will come next as well.  It’s getting closer.  I’m eager to look it in the eye. Until next time….

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~ by James on February 21, 2015.

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