A few nights ago, I released a lantern full of birthday wishes up into the sky. Before that, we were encouraged to write down our wishes on the lantern. Under the pressure, I came up blank. So we ended up writing one single word: believe.
Thinking about it now, it is perfectly fitting. I am overwhelmed with all that have transpired over the past year. We’ve cultivated new dreams and made huge decisions. We’ve weathered broken relationships and made painful sacrifices. We’ve overcome fears and uncertainties, including the scariest thing I could think of: quitting my job. We’ve boarded dozens of planes, trains, and then more planes in search of far flung lands. We’ve embraced new worlds and new simple lives. And now, we’ve found what it means to be truly happy.
And all because we believed.
It wasn’t enough to just have a dream, to just wistfully say “wouldn’t it be nice to travel and live freely?”. We didn’t sigh “if only….,” and instead asked “how?”. We believed in this dream with all our heart and never lost sight of it. And when one of us lost our way, the other gently (and sometimes not so gently) provided guidance back onto the correct path. We believed in each other and in a happier, more meaningful life. We believed in no limitations and endless possibilities.
We believed that we could, and now we are.
As we stand now, our future path is still a mystery and we aren’t much closer to having things figured out than the day we left (i.e. no alternative career plan for me yet). And some days, I can’t help but wonder if I am just drifting through this year, growing older but dumber. Who am I now without my fancy title from my past life?
We may still have unknowns, but we do know this: we’re happy and want to keep on traveling. I may be unsure about my purpose, but I know travel has become a passion. So we keep on believing that everything will fall into place.
For my 28th year, I want to become the best version of myself. I want to live in the moment. Be more present. Laugh more. Sleep more. Do more yoga, get stronger. Learn to meditate. Eat more strange foods, and desserts. Learn more recipes. Be uncomfortable, be braver. Be a better partner for D. Spend more quality time together. Learn to clean more, stay organized. Have meaningful conversations. Meet new interesting people. Be more productive, blog smarter. Hone my writing. Read more books, discover new authors. Be motivated, inspired. And most of all, continue to learn and grow.
They say releasing a lantern is a symbol for releasing misfortune into the sky. And that your wishes will come true if the lantern does not burn out before disappearing from view. I watched as our lantern floated all the way up into the heavens, the fire burning brightly, until it became so tiny that it simply faded into the night.
Here’s to 28. It’s gonna be the best year yet!