My roommate and I have needed to go school supply shopping for a week, and we keep putting it off. We finally decided today would be the day, and we asked our friend for directions to the supply store and went on our way. However, we ended up taking a wrong turn, and with streets that all look really similar and are surrounded by tall buildings, we were lost within minutes and had no idea where to go. We couldn’t ask for help either because our phones don’t have data and we didn’t know the name of the store. We wandered the city for a long time; my phone counted 6,500 steps during the time we went looking for the store. But along the way, we ran into so many awesome things. There was a cafe tucked away in a little street I never would’ve thought to walk down called “Don Quixote,” and the food just happened to look incredible. (For those who don’t know, Don Quixote means a lot to me, so the fact that the cafe looked great too was a bonus.) We’re going to go back when it’s open. Then, we walked by a man playing music by himself in the street, but the accordion he used and the song he was playing in the atmosphere of the historic little town made me feel like I was taking a walk through time. I wanted to sit and listen, but we were on a mission. After we passed him, we stumbled upon the most gorgeous building and marveled that something so breathtaking could just pop into view on a casual stroll through the city.
To be lost in the city was one thing, but something I don’t think people talk about often with experiences like this is that it’s really easy to lose yourself among all of the new things and people in this big world too. I think I was denying it to myself, but being with this new group of people made me feel like I wanted to fit in. I stopped listening to myself and followed the crowd instead of trying to find the things here that would make me happy. But tonight, I was reminded of that, and I was reminded of who I want to be on this trip and throughout my life. Trying to fit in is such a normal response to being thrown into a new environment, but it’s never lead me to who I am or what I want out of this life. Thankfully, any time you end up lost, it is always possible to retrace steps and choose a different street. I’m not afraid of being alone if that’s what it means to be on the path I want to walk. In fact, I’m excited to travel and experience the things that are going to make my heart beat a little faster, and I’m really glad I was reminded of that, because that is what is going to make this experience something worth remembering and something that could change my life.
Like the eventful walk my roommate and I had on the way to the store, there are times when you can get lost and stumble upon something beautiful. Sometimes, when you’re lost in a world of new things and people, that beautiful thing you find is yourself.