I’m sitting on my bed, alone in my room, and for the millionth time since being in Europe, tears sit on the brim of my eyes. However, although these tears are usually those of frustration or anxiety, these are ones of bittersweet love.
As I reflect on my time here, I recall more stress than I could ever imagine and more heartbreak than I thought I could ever handle. With all of the negative, came so many positive reinforcements. I think about the laughs over glasses of champagne, the hugs when I thought things couldn’t get worse, and the friendships I made that I desperately needed. And with this, comes a quote that Julia Roberts said that spoke to me…
“I’ve come to believe in something I’ve called the physics of the quest. A force in nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity. The rule of quest physics goes something like this…if you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting – which can be anything: from your house to bitter old resentments, and set out on a truth seeking journey, either externally or internally. And if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher…and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.”
The physics of the quest has a wonderful ring to it because that’s what I’ve been on – a quest. I used a quote when I was in Florence that helped me elaborate on my experiences, and I’m here to do it again…
If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything, from your house to bitter old resentments is my first recollection. I left behind the comfort of a supporting job with NBC, friends that I enjoyed sharing time with, and a home with puppies and babies to cuddle with. And you know what? I was terrified. That is, until I realized I could have a family here, and I made one. I found comfort in bakeries on the Haupstrasse, peace in looking out from the castle walls, and familiarity with the streets of Germany.
And set out on a truth seeking journey and find solidarity and honesty within this journey. This truth seeking journey allowed me to find the faults and flaws in which I had been lying to myself. Lying to myself that I was happy and content – I wasn’t and haven’t been. I was not comfortable with the way I was treated nor with the way people doubted me. This journey took away the flaws and I am the happiest I have ever been.
If you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue…boy, did I learn some clues. The biggest clue I was given was the clue of communication. I learned that without communication, relationships fail. I lost people I considered to be my best friends, I lost a man I was in love with, and a boy I thought I liked. Communication is key in everything, and it didn’t become clear to me until now. If you’re upset, communicate. If you’re appreciative, communicate. If you find love in something or someone, by the love of God, communicate it.
If you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, then you will find the most wonderful friends. Before I came to Europe, I didn’t know these women: Ava-Marie, Halley, Margaux, and Dani – if you are reading this or ever stumble across it, thank you. Thank you for listening to me rant, thank you for nights full of laughter, memories I will cherish forever, and for giving me a chance. My friendships with y’all mean everything to me and without you guys, I wouldn’t have completed this journey. You bring an unending brightness to my life.
I also want to thank everyone who let me down, because you taught me how to value my friendships and relationships. You taught me that I am worthy of having good friends and even though y’all couldn’t be one for me, I can now be one to others. Thank you, you’ve taught me to value my worth, and I am forever grateful.
If you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself…this was the hardest one for me to do. I had to realize mistakes I made seven years ago will never go away. On the other hand, a reality about myself is that the one mistake I made does not define me now. I am going into my twenties with that mistake in the past. I grew from it and I have been honest with myself and others since then. The reality of it is that everyone makes mistakes, but I will not allow it to hold me back from sharing my life anymore. I have found success and happiness and that mistake will not phase me anymore – I have grown up after almost a decade, and I am not at all that pre-pubescent child, that is in the past. I ask for forgiveness and understanding, and if I can’t receive that, then I forgive you for holding onto that resentment.
Then the truth will not be withheld from you. Today is my birthday and the most marvelous truth was brought upon me – I am worthy. I am so beyond blessed to spend this time in Europe. I am amazed that God has given me such strong and supportive women to help me through this growth. I am so beyond thankful for my readers who have gone on this journey with me. I am excited for this new chapter as I head to Austin, TX for the summer and then to Washington D.C. for election season. Most of all, thank you Heidelberg. It’s been a journey that I will cherish forever; Ich hab’ mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren.
As my time in Europe is expiring, I will be more geared towards a website for fashion and lifestyle, alongside my travels. I hope you continue to read and support me, and thank you for all of your support thus far!
2 thoughts on “An Innocent Abroad: Heidelberg, Germany”
My darling, Happy Birthday! I am so proud of you! I so wish my generation had been as wise. Always know I am one of your greatest admirers and “you gotta a friend”.
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Thank you, Mrs. White!