Alive & Well

Last year I adopted a phrase, which in all honesty I probably ended up overusing, applying it to anything and everything. The phrase went like this, “No plans are the best plans.” For awhile it fit, but one day I have a revolution, sometimes you do need plans so the motto was altered, “No plans are the best plans except for when you need plans.” In other words, my phrase became a grand contradiction, a contradiction that gave me the ability to embrace the imperfections that one faces in life.

In a way, I believe these words were an attempt toremind myself and teach myself that this ride is not always going to be smooth. I do not believe this motto is completely true, but I do think there is a beauty in letting go of expectations – of yourself, of others, and of the world that surrounds us. I have discovered peace in not knowing what the days, months, or years hold for me. Although I acknowledge the importance and value of my own future, I no longer feel the pressure to get there. In the meantime, I am simply holding myself accountable to be present in the current experience I have been gifted with… an experience that has led to many lessons.

While I am aware that I am learning day in and day out, I was not able to pinpoint exactly what I was absorbing. On the exact day that marked the half way point of this journey, I read the following words of Maya Angelou, “Did I learn to be kinder, To be more patient, And more generous, More loving, More ready to laugh, And more easy to accept honest tears?” When I read these words I embraced their simplicity and it was in that moment that I realized that I have not been, nor am I currently on a search for a life changing revolution. I am here to observe, embrace challenges, love, and enjoy. I am here to rediscoverthe appreciation of the little things life offers, something I feelhad fled me before this journey. I feel proud and overjoyed to say that is exactly what is being accomplished. It is challenging nonetheless, but fulfilling.

I have been gifted with joy and a sense of rejuvenation. My mom always asks my brothers and I this question when we are away from home, “Alive & Well?” Assuming both of these things are true at the given time it is a simple response of, “Alive & Well.” I happily report, I am here in Ecuador and indeed alive and well.

Wishing you all the happiest of New Years and sending an immense amount of love from Ecuador!