Priorities Change

Oct 18, 2014 by

“Sometimes priorities do change. Remember, when you had the idea of your Europe trip, you were in a different place in life. Your life has changed so dramatically. You are now open to new relationships, whether they be with friends, foods, or boys.”

– An inspiring friend of mine

 

          On Wednesday, a friend I met a couple weeks before, during my macaron class, lost her purse while we were lunching on brie and baguettes by the Eiffel Tower. It contained her passport, all identification, debit card, and credit cards. Because she and her travel companion were leaving Paris for Normandy the next morning and they’re both new to travel, they were shaken. I sympathized, but something like that wouldn’t faze me. Although it’s inconvenient, it’s an easy fix: cancel all cards, order replacements, and go to the embassy to get a new passport. Strangely, while I freak out over much more trivial things, like knowing the time, I could breezily laugh off losing my purse. It would make for a fun story to tell. That’s just travel: things go wrong, you laugh about them, you deal with them, and you tell stories about them.

          Whoa.

          Epiphany: That’s not just travel, I realized. That’s life.

          So why was I punishing myself with anxiety over wanting to go home? As I contemplated the easygoingness with which I would react to her particular situation (which I understand is easy to do having never been in the situation myself, but I know me; it’s just one of those things I’d be happy to blog about while giggling), I thought about my own situation and how I should be applying the same mentality. Though it seemed hard to come to terms with the fact that I no longer want something I worked toward and framed as one of my dreams, it didn’t have to be.

          When I first acknowledged that I wanted to go home, I didn’t understand what that meant. Was I being unappreciative? Was either solo travel or long-term travel or both not for me? Was I losing interest in travel in general? If I don’t want this, what do I want? And, the worst: What’s next? Watching the lost passport sitch unfold reminded me that we choose how we react. If I would have chosen to laugh off a lost passport had I been the one missing mine, I could choose to shrug off wanting to go home. Not everything needs to be analyzed, I decided. Not everything has to have some deeper meaning. A circumstance only has the significance I choose to give it, so I’m choosing to leave it at this: I saved for a big trip to Europe. Part way through it, I found that I’d truly rather be living my life at home. In between flying to Europe and flying back home early, I get to thoroughly explore Paris, the city that topped my to-go list for nearly two years.

          The end.

          This doesn’t have to launch some complicated I’m-lost-in-life stress bomb. Actually, I think it signifies quite the opposite of being lost. It demonstrates that I’ve gotten pretty good at knowing what I want and letting myself have it. Currently, I want to be at home. I still stand by my statement that Paris is the most stunning city I’ve seen so far, and I like its vibe. It’s a European New York. It’s busy, lively, and flashy, yet elegant and history-rich. I’d visit Paris again, I’d come to Europe again, and I’d travel solo again. Wanting to go home right now doesn’t change any of that. Wanting to go home is merely a reflection of my present needs for happiness. As per the friend quoted above, my life has drastically changed since I initially decided to make Europe happen. With that, so have my priorities.

          Bottom line: I need to sustain my own happiness. So, once again, the question is always: What do I need to be happy at this point in my life? The answer is as simple as listening to what I want. At the moment, there is not a single city I’d rather fly to – not Barcelona, not London, not Milano, not [insert any other destination on my to-go list here] – than Toronto. The only way to interpret that is this: I want to go home because I love the life I’ve created for myself there. That’s an amazing statement. A year and a half ago, I never thought I’d be fortunate enough to make it.

Happiness Tip: It’s okay to go home.

 
Previous: My Life is My Adventure Next: Step One: Face the Eiffel Tower
 

2 Comments

  1. That is so awesome that you feel okay to make a statement. Simply saying that this is what you want, is a moment to remember, so its time to get that peanut butter ice cream out to celebrate! 😉

    • Aw! Thanks so much, girl! Oh yes, peanut butter ice cream is top of my to-eat-when-I-get-home list. Based on Italy and France, Europe hates peanuts and all its byproducts, sadly including peanut butter ice cream.

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