Vienna, Austria

July 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

If I am being honest with myself, it began with me running

Ironically running away from your life doesn’t work very well when you are simultaneously pursuing a course focused on how memories have shaped an identity. It would be foolish to assume that I could keep studying Vienna’s memories and be oblivious to the fact that God was teaching me why being stitched together by my own personal experiences was necessary to my growth, despite the fact that I’m painfully human.

So my study in Vienna became a metaphor for me stabilizing my own identity. I am particular about using the word “stabilizing” because I did not want to “find myself” in the sense that I would be a whole new person after some encounter in a foreign country. That’s a cliche that I deliberately tried to avoid on this trip, which is the exact reason I opted for a personal journal instead of blogging everyday. Blogging would have desensitized me from my experiences by creating expectations. And I didn’t know what I was to expect. All I had conveniently packed with me were my personal ideals.

Here are some excerpts of lessons from my personal journal:Image

1. Be okay with being alone. Getting to know yourself is a luxury denied to many due to twisted perceptions of how one should be. Knowing yourself and your desires, why you have them and who you are because of them is what comprises your identity. Having an identity is not equivalent to “being different”, it’s equivalent to being comfortable.

2. Travel more and experience the pictures you are too familiar with. Experience the strange landscapes you didn’t know existed. It is just as important to explore known places as much as unknown ones. The known places teach you about how you think in relation to others, the unknown places teach you that your opinions are just as valuable

3. Appreciate life more. Give more and take less. Expel the injustices that you don’t want to see. Overall never forget that love covers a multitude of sins.

4. Understanding perspective is the key to a happy life. When things don’t work out in life we must change our perspective to encompass a world much bigger than the space we continue to confine ourselves to. Change your space, and change your attitude. No hard situation is worth moments of your life if you fully grasp the urgency in the fact that time is not guaranteed to us.

5. You will truly experience God through the people you meet. Never take one encounter for granted. You may not understand a person, but you are not born of the same experiences. In understanding this you understand that they present an educational value to you that you haven’t encountered yet. Embrace it all.

I don’t think I will ever forget the experiences I had in Vienna and I thank God for giving me the courage to begin running.

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and colors. And the people there see you differently too. Coming back to where you started is never the same as never leaving”


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