Choices and Changing Leaves

This is the story of how I made a decision that changed everything I had been planning for the last six months.

The first two weeks of July were marked by waves of stress, bad moods, and unnecessary anxiety. I was frustrated, unmotivated and I didn’t understand why. I had two weeks of lectures left, I was ready to apply for a masters program in Berlin, which was a logical step in my academic career, and I was pretty sure I was getting in. So, there was no way I could be frustrated, right?

Sometimes we run as fast as we can to a place we don’t actually want to go.

I realized that I didn’t know why I was going to that city and to that masters program and I didn’t know what I was going to do with them once I was finished, but it was too late: I had already told everyone my plans, and I was not going to back down.

Sometimes we have to stop running, take a deep breath and change the route, regardless of who might be watching.

Sometimes we need someone to remind us of that.

So that’s what I did: I stopped running, I took a deep breath, I though long and hard about what I really wanted to do, and I realized that I had no idea. So, I changed the route. New destination: Mexico.

A self that goes on changing is a self that goes on living.

Virginia Woolf

A few weeks ago I was lost in a book while sitting outside the café at the train station. There were only a few hours of sunlight left, which is why when the light changed, I was forced to stop reading and look around me.

With the exception of one or two people who were late, no one looked like they were in a hurry. People were walking around, chatting with their friends or having an ice-cream, and enjoying the afternoon. At that moment, I thought of how I will miss these brief pauses when I leave, but then I realized that sitting at the train station and observing strangers is not something I usually do. It’s interesting how, whenever something’s about to end, we assume that we’ll miss things that we never do.

In a few months, I’ll return home with a bachelor degree and with no plan whatsoever of what I’m doing next, but I am excited to do it.

Whatever the opposite of a plan is, that’s what I’ve got.

Jonathan Tropper, This is Where I Leave You

Germany has been my home for the last four years. This is where I’ve been able to be myself, to explore new interests, to discover aspects of my personality that I didn’t know before; this is where I’ve changed.

Sometimes I think about this state of waiting that I’m in, this limbo that is found between planning something and making it happen, and I feel like rushing through it. Ever since I said out loud I was going back to Mexico, I have been living with this feeling that is somewhere between excitement and urgency. It doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying my last months here, quite the opposite, but I am very excited to get back. Especially because I want to see how I fit in that environment, given that I’m not the same I was when I left.

And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of tress and changing leaves.

Virginia Woolf, quoting Charles I. Elton in To the Lighthouse

We’ll see how it all turns out.