Flashback to October 2, 2012:
I’ve been on a landmine of happiness lately. I’m off to New York in t-minus two days and I can barely sit still. I’m beyond excited, and I think that’s probably an understatement.
My point: we are SO happy when we have something to look forward to! Just like when we were little at Christmas Eve, the anticipation can almost be better than the experience itself. I love having something to wait for.
I’ve waited two months for this trip. I’ve counted down the days and I’m more than ready to get on that plane (albeit a red-eye). This is only my second time to New York and I think it will be the best yet. (Not to mention, I’m looking forward to getting out of the LA heat—it’s October—no more hot weather, please).
So the takeaway that I’ve learned from this? When we have nothing to set our sights on, we start to settle. It’s so important to make plans for our lives and to follow through with them. It gives us confidence in the process. Unfortunately I’m not the most well traveled person out there so planning a trip to New York on my own is a big deal for me. Knowing that I’m capable of getting myself to another state without much help is a good feeling. It reminds me that anything is possible when I’m prepared and I have intention.
So whether you’re traveling to Argentina or Arizona, keep challenging yourself to find new adventures. Give yourself something to be excited about. It’s such a good feeling.
Flash Forward to October 8, 2012:
I’m back in LA. Just like that, I’ve come and gone. Came, saw, went. But my trip was an incredible one and my anticipated excitement was all worth it. During my time in New York I went to the top of Rockefeller, walked through hundreds of trees in Central Park and ate more than one cupcake in less than 24 hours. I heard the fantastic voices of Broadway at Phantom of the Opera and to counter all that singing, I later stood silently solemn at the 9/11 Memorial. I toured Columbia’s campus late at night and ate at Mel’s Diner—where they make macaroni-bacon-burgers. Yeah. Needless to say, it was truly an incredibly weekend and I’m so much happier for it.
The downside? For as happy as I was to visit, I was twice as unhappy to leave. When we’ve had wonderful journeys it’s so hard to take those next steps onto a new path. The only way I keep the happiness going is by remembering two things: the amazing memories I’ve made and the faith-filled certainty that I will have more to come in the near future. When we tell ourselves that a chapter is OVER, the happiness that we gleaned from it is over as well. I like to keep it alive by believing that I will have new, joy laden adventures again soon, even if I have to leave it temporarily.
I hope as we are in these early weeks of fall you’ll start creating plans for the holiday season and 2013. It’s never too early to start thinking about where you’d like to travel. This is the perfect time in our lives to do it. No more excuses, no more fears—it’s time to just go. Be brave and reap the happy rewards.
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook