It's hard to keep track with what I confess, what I admit, the secrets I tell, and the stories I share with the people I meet and the readers I write for.
So here it is, another one.
When I was a sophomore in College, I ate lunch with a boy I had a small crush on. I decided a few bites into my salad I was going to tell him. He rejected me, naturally. I don't look back on that moment in shame or embarrassment because I set the tone for the remaining duration of our lunch-date.
We talked about our aspirations, and I told him I wanted to change the world. His response? "You will." Him as a person has long left my life, but those two words still follow me around, floating from one section of my brain to another. It's been the backbone behind many of my decisions.
I didn't know how to do it. Did I become an astronaut? I def didn't want to be President. I picked the pathways that made me happy. I went to South Africa, I went to Spain. With these decisions I slowly realized I didn't need to be an astronaut or the President. I changed the world one person at a time. It was the small things, like explaining the difference between "hit" and "heat," or writing down instructions to a healthy recipe. Things add up. It might seem insignificant, but that word clarification taught a child a new sentence. The recipe changed a families entire diet. My presence in their lives, and theirs in mine, is all it took.
I know I've been scared to leave, to change the direction of my life. But right now I am sitting in a coffee shop in my small-town, USA, 4,000 miles away from the closest place I really consider home, and I recognize I will still be able to change the world whether I am there or here. I'm excited to see how I do it.
So Madrid. I love you. I always will. To the students, the teachers, the citizens, the sexy football players. I have to say goodbye right now. Keep a look out for me.
Live Large and Sparkle.