and moving away from home
I got accepted to the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale for advertising. This was 1500 miles from home. I couldn't WAIT to get there. This college is a little different. It is filled with artsy students, and the dorms are nothing like other college dorms. It is literally an old motel. Regardless, I still lived out my dorm party/partying days, and had a blast. Back then, I didn't realize how moving down to Florida would be the best thing I could have ever done. I just thought I was going to live in paradise by the beach.
In the last 11 years, I can't tell you how many times people have told me how brave I was to move to Florida by myself at 18. I would always brush it off, because it was no big deal to me. Yea I missed home on occasion, like anyone would who grew up in an awesome family, and I missed my friends that I had grown up with, but I never missed it enough to move home right away. (I did move home twice in the 9 years I lived there, but I always ended up back in Florida).
In the last few years, as I get older, I realize how much of a blessing it really was moving down there. I WAS brave. At the time, I wanted to be a rebel and get as far away from home as possible, but not many kids at that age have the guts to do what I did, and I am realizing it now. I don't know if it was the support from my parents, or just my "run away from everything" mentality that helped me do it.
As graduation season is upon us, I hope people realize that is GREAT to move away from home. To get out of your comfort zone. In the first year of me living in Florida, I had finally become my own person. I came out of my shell. I experienced the world, in all it's hell AND glory. I learned what it was like to have $-100 in my bank account, I lived off of banana pepper and ranch dressing at one point. Gross, I know! I also learned what it was like to meet new people, and make friends. I learned how to call the pizza place or Chinese restaurant and order food. I learned that having a credit card doesn't mean free money... that can be a whole different post on its own.... Best of all, I learned to be myself.
I am not saying that people that don't move from home learn nothing, or become nothing, but I do know, that if I had never moved, I wouldn't be half the person I am today. I used to be so naive, and while I AM still working on that, I have a lot more common sense. I am generous, and kind, I trust the right people, and guard myself from bad people. I am not as shy as I once was, I have learned to stick up for myself, and I have learned that there is an entire world full of amazing things, people, culture, places and adventures, as well as the bad of course.
Every time I visit a new place, I become a better version of myself. I can't explain how, it's just how it is, through good AND bad situations. I continue to find peace within myself, and I realize how tiny I am on this huge earth. Some people would think of that as a bad thing, but to me, it makes me want to be a better person. It makes me want to be a better person so the people in my life, in my tiny world can respect me, love me, and learn from me. I don't want this earth to make me feel tiny and worthless, and by traveling, and moving away from home, I can put my own foot prints on this earth, and try to make a difference. If not in the world, than in MY own life.
As you graduate this year, if you are in a rut with your life, or are just looking for change, take it from me, MAKE that change. Move far from home. Travel your country or the world. Try to make a difference. Sit on the edge of a cliff, go to a country that doesn't speak your language, and just take it all in. It will change your life, and it will change you. You can ALWAYS go home. Just ask my parents, I return home all the time, haha. I love knowing that my parents and my family will always be there if I need to fall back on them, or if I need a little family refresher, but by being away, at least for me, I can truly become who I am supposed to be.
If you need a little push, just remember the wise old proverb.. "Just do it."
PS- If you go to college, whether near or far, and you are given ANY chance to study abroad, DO IT! Finance it, save your pennies, beg your parents, get 2 jobs, figure it out, and go for it. You might be in a tiny bit more debt because of it, but you will come out of it richer than ever. Yes, I HAD to go there....
Happy Graduation to those graduating this year! CONGRATULATIONS! It is a HUGE accomplishment!
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A GOOD BOOK TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO TRAVEL OR JUST TAKE A RISK, READ THESE!