Letting go of things can be one of the more difficult things in life. I am an exercise fanatic and those who know me well know how important it is for me to get some form of intense exercise in everyday…whether its a run, tennis practice, or biking. I knew that doing TIME was going to pose times for me where I would not be able to keep up with my desires but I have been determined to not let it fall through the roof just yet. I woke up this morning and decided to go run around the University track (us girls are advised to not go our running by ourselves on the streets, so this was my only option). The track is locked and guarded by a person you have to show your studnet ID to…well he wasn’t there…and it was locked…and I couldn’t get in. Bummer. There was a man reading the newspaper not to far away and so with hand and body motions, I asked him if he knew whether I could run on the track. He put up 10 fingers so I assumed it opened at 10:00. So, I walked back to my room, did some reading and at 10:00 I left to the track again. The guard was still not there..the gate was still locked…and the guy reading the newspaper was still there. I looked at him and he just shrugged his shoulders. I was debating hopping the fence but then I saw some barbed wire on top so I decided probably not a good idea. Fail number two…I was not a happy camper and felt a little sorry for myself that both of my good intentioned attempts failed.
Why would I feel sorry for myself? This trip is more than being able to run on routine. I started to think about how I want to allow myself to be surprised, to embrace new things, to try new things, to learn new things and quite frankly, none of that can truly happen if I hold on to certain expectations. It’s not really about whether I can run or not but it’s the fact that learning to let go of things can be very powerful and when you can, you often times open yourself up to new opportunities.
This week school starts back up on the Hill. I catch myself yearning to go back to school and think about all the fun times I’ll be missing and all the other things that will happen without me there. Now, I’m sure everytime I think about school and my friends, I will feel a similar sentiment. But this is something I cannot change and if I hold on to what I cannot change, my experience here will not be as rewarding. I think I can speak for all of us on the trip that we have left a lot behind us and there are a lot of things we can’t do here like we can at home but if we choose to focus on that and not embrace what is right in front of our eyes, I think we will regret not being in the present moment during our trip.
So, I have promised myself that I will try to “let go” some more during this trip. I won’t be perfect (obviously) but I’ve thought up a little list of things I can start with, here it goes:
-there may be 14 cats around me while I eat lunch, and my eyes may swell up and I may start to sneeze excessively but let it go
-squat toilets. enough said. let it go
-smelly clothes, let it go
-failing my Turkish test (the first test), let it go
-missing my favorite teddy bear, let it go
-not having internet in my room when everybody else does, let it go
-missing out on social events at Olaf, let it go