Recently, I’ve been soul searching. For what, I’m not sure.
It might be that I’ve been working a lot, or working out a lot. So I’ve been thinking quite a bit. Or it could be that I just got back from abroad – an experience that has changed the way I think about my friends, my life, and what I want from relationships and work. It was an experience that, ultimately, changed me quite a bit.
Studying abroad is an experience everyone says will change you. A lot of things these days will change you. But how? And why? And when? These questions have led me to be a lot more introspective than usual.
I’d certainly like to believe that every experience I have changes me somehow – for better, for worse, for anything. So being home from abroad should be no different. I should be ready to face the world, change more, grow more, and be more than I am. But still, while I look forward to the rest of the summer and my last year in college, I wonder about the future, and it becomes hard to identify what I’m feeling.
It’s almost like a nostalgia for something I once had – or am supposed to have now. It’s a want for something more than just an ordinary, college girl life. I almost feel like Belle – longing for elsewhere.
But shouldn’t I be feeling the opposite? College, and subsequently studying abroad, is supposed to be the big adventure in the great wide somewhere. It’s supposed to be the break from the mundane, the normal, the adult life we’ll all soon be living. And although it is – and I wouldn’t trade any experience I’ve had in university so far – I still feel like I’m missing the bigger picture of it all or the main point.
I place so much value on all the experiences I’ve had. I feel like I’m becoming a more well-rounded person. I feel like I’m growing into the person I’m supposed to be. But still, I feel like I’m almost 7/8 of a person.
Or maybe, because I’m putting so much pressure on myself to see something new because I’m putting so much weight on every experience, it’s too much to actually realize how I’m actually changing. I’m expecting something so major to happen, so I just keep waiting for it. And waiting, and waiting, and waiting.
But maybe, just maybe, that’s the point.
I’ve already changed. Something amazing happens every day. It’s not always major – it can be small things, little things that we don’t realize are changing us but actually are. Maybe I’m soul searching because I’m trying to rediscover who I am now that I have changed.
I think, much like Belle discovers, I just have to open my eyes and my heart to these little, and big, experiences. Change is gradual. I’m not going to wake up tomorrow and identify every little change I can find in myself. I just have to realize that I’ve changed somehowand I’ll figure the rest out later. I just have to keep my arms wide open to new things, new people, and new experiences. That’s the only way my soul searching will find something.
I just have to know: I will find something.
Originally written by Emily Bernstein on Unwritten