I'm restless. My birthday is right around the corner, finals and the end of the semester is crushing me, my summer plans are still up in the air. I want answers to things, ends to some things and beginnings to others. People always says life is best lived forward, not backward. Sometimes I can't help looking backwards. For some reason today I thought about how 4 years ago I was living in Southern Spain. I had plans to go to Italy for my birthday, and traveled 2 hours to the nearest airport to board my flight, just to realize that I left my passport at home. After a few hours of feeling totally deflated, I went home with my then-boyfriend, booked new flights, and went back to the airport the next morning to fly to Rome, a city 4 hours from our destination. On my 23rd birthday I woke up in a hostel in the ancient city and spent most of the day on a train out to Cinque Terre. There is a video of me from that day on the train. I'm wearing headphones, my hair is in a messy ponytail, and I am dancing around in my seat. I look healthy and happy. Despite all the challenges of the trip, I felt like everything was right in the world.
That video reminds me of a clip from a movie preview. Sometimes I just wish that I could flip through the pages of my life and get a tiny glimpse of what the rest is going to look like. Just maybe a little bit? But I suppose if I knew at 17 that at 23 I'd be riding a train through the Italian countryside I'd never believe it. When I was 23 if I was told I'd move to North Carolina to study public health, I'd never believe that. Maybe we don't know because the surprise is part of the journey.