A Parable

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There once was a girl who looked quite a lot like me. 

She had big dreams for 2012.  “I want to go to Europe this year” she said.  “I don’t know when or how, but I want to go.”

She had wanted to travel to a certain country for a decade.  A land of romance and guitars and orange blossoms.  She was familiar with the language.  She was enthralled by the idea.

But she didn’t know when or how.  She was waiting for a sign.

She didn’t want to go alone.  She thought she would be lonely.  She wanted a reason for the trip to appear.

One day, it seemed that the reason did appear.  A friend wanted to take a trip to this country too.  They would go together.  They would travel around, and eat great food, and meet up with friends of the friend, and it would be the trip of a lifetime.

The girl thought this was the sign she had been waiting for.  This was the universe telling her that taking this trip was the right thing to do.  So she took two weeks off of work and started to get excited.

……..

The plans with the friend fell through. 

……..

The girl had a choice to make.

She could call off the trip, say it wasn’t meant to be after all.  Tell her jobs that she would be coming in on Monday.  Maybe she could cry and be sad for a little while, but she could take a long weekend somewhere nearby and feel better.

………

Or she could push all that nonsense aside and take the trip anyway.  Decide to go alone and see what happened.  Accept that the experience was going to be completely different and choose to have it anyway.

This is what the girl chose to do.  She had one week to plan a trip from scratch.  She had some help along the way, from a new and very dear friend who just happens to be a flight attendant.  She chose a few cities, booked rooms, and tried to remember a bit more of that romantic language. 

She read her guidebook on the plane flight over to decide where to go and what to see.

And she had the time of her life.  And it was better than she could have imagined.  And she saw and did things that only she could have seen and done.

It turns out that she didn’t need the universe’s permission to take the trip.  All she needed was her own.

What will you give yourself permission to do this year?  Who will you give yourself permission to be?

Que esten bien.