It’s New Years Day, complete with new beginnings and whimsical characters. Like every New Years, I was nostalgic as I closed the door on another chapter of life. I was a tumbleweed blowing in the wind. I barely believed that in the past year I packed up only enough clothes to fit in two suitcases, and ditched the rest of the noise in search of a better self. Instead of a better self, I found myself. I found myself in Dublin, Ireland in a picturesque flat above a liquor store, across from a traditional pub, next to the Prime Minister’s flat and in the center of it all. I plunged headfirst into a MBA program at the quaint Trinity College Dublin, which appears as if it is straight out of the pages of a Harry Potter novel. With my head in the clouds and feet on the ground, I pranced around Ireland like Hermione exploring peninsulas, beaches, distilleries, cliffs and castles with my accounting books. When I wasn’t knee deep in whiskey listening to traditional Irish music in dingy but delightful pubs, I was proving my worth by studying in the same halls as Jonathan Swift, Samuel Beckett, Edmund Burke and Oscar Wilde. I left Ireland on a high; feeling accomplished and unstoppable, ready to make my mark on the world. With my rising confidence, I set off on a solo journey across Eastern Europe before landing back on solid ground in the United States. I successfully navigated through unknown territories in foreign tongues from Krakow, to Prague, to Vienna, to Zagreb. I loved nothing more than to awaken in a strange city and find myself sipping exquisite cappuccino in an ageless square devouring a good book.
After finishing my gone with the wind chapter, I turned the page and found myself submerged in the next. In a blink of the eye, I settled in our nation’s great capital juggling a new job, new goals, new friends and a new challenge. I’ve never been scared of any challenge, for I’ve overcome the trepidation of skydiving in the Swiss Alps, living in two different foreign countries and traveling most of continental Europe. At 26, I was invincible until I heard my doctor utter, “You have cancer.” In this new year, I set out on another grand adventure and, unlike my solo travels across Europe, a hero appeared seemingly out of the ether, with his relentless imagination and Southern charm and saved me in every way imaginable.
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