Good Riddance

Is one of the most iconic songs of my childhood. If I were to make a soundtrack of my life it would most likely be number one.

This song means so much to me. 

The summer before Junior year I headed off on exchange to the mystical land of Peru. The night before I took my adventure my three best friends and I gathered in my bedroom talking about the possibilities to come and how we would never drift apart. Of course, none of us knew what to expect from my drifting off into the unknown. "I hope you had the time of your life" (we changed "had" to "have" so it would pertain to us) was on repeat that night. Hours of best wishes.

"A lesson learned in time" Nine years ago my life was entirely different. I was so young and lucky. My experiences that year abroad taught me so many things. I learned how to decipher between the things in life that matter and the things that don't. I learned how to dissolve my life of drama. This was by far the greatest lesson and I wish I knew how to teach it. Once a person understands that little things that get under your skin aren't worth your time and that its the good little things that really matter, you are free of many burdens. I may not have as many friends now because of it but I am truly content with who I am. Isn't that what matters the most? Being content with whats under your own skin.

"So make the best of this test, and don't ask why" The last month or so of the trip I was introduced to a wonderful mid western girl named Bre. She had resided in a town south of the one I had lived in. We quickly became close. We had to part ways when our exchanges were over, but luckily for us, she had family in my native state of Oregon. The summer following our exchanges we visited. We had both had an incredible time transitioning from life as an exchange student to life as a "normal" student. None of our friends understood our adventures and tired of hearing about them 24/7. None of our families understood that our brains were still thinking in Spanish but we were now in an English speaking country. None of the people around us understood how much we had experienced and gained in that year (I am not just talking about LBS from trying all the delicious cuisine). We stayed up all night talking about how we didn't have a place in the worlds we knew before our exchanges. We had evolved and everything at home had stayed the same. We were destined for more. We vowed to meet up 5 years later....in 2010. It hasn't happened yet but we think it will happen this year, 2013! Now we are both married and home owners. Life has been good to us.

"Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go" I think I was born mature. I have always been referred to as an old soul. But that year I matured more than I could grasp, even in my infinite wisdom. My best friends at home seemed different to me. However I was the one who had changed. I had experienced the world. Literally. I had traveled to 6 countries, met countless other world travelers and encountered dozens of indigenous cultures that year. I had changed, for the better. And honestly it is not about the world travel it truly isn't. It is about who I became. I arrived a 16  year old wide eyed girl and left a 17 year old adult, never to return the same.

"For what it's worth it was worth all the while" Why, yes Greenday it was worth all the while. My world was upside down and I knew who I was and who I wanted to become. I wanted to see more of the world and meet more of the people, see the ancient ruins and feel the earth beneath my feet. These were not feelings I had before hand. These are feelings that I still posses.

"It's something unpredictable, but in the end is right" So what I think I am getting at with this lengthy post is that we need to get past anything holding us back from our dreams and take life at what its worth and make the best of what we have. You cannot choose your destiny but it is yours and yours alone so make sure you have "the best time of your life".