Pinch me. I’m dreaming.

I remember telling my friends that I would never get to travel the world. I knew there was no way I would get a job that would let me go anywhere beyond my desk. They told me I could always travel on my own. I found that hilarious. Before college I had barely escaped the boundaries of Kansas by car, let alone an airplane. I made up excuses that my background didn’t give me the foundation to know how to travel (like what does that even mean??).  That my anxiety would squash me dead before I even started packing.

Now here I am. Six months out of college. I’ve walked the beaches of Costa Rica. Sat on the edge of cliffs as the Atlantic crashes into Ireland. Sailed into a San Diego sunset. Relaxed in a London coffee shop. Flown over deserts and mountains. And walked the streets of New York City.

If you had walked up to me as a high school freshman and told me what my life would become…I would do two things: Externally, I would laugh in your face. And internally, I would of started the biggest anxiety attack I’ve ever had.

You may be reading this and thinking, Okay Erika. Calm down. So what, you’ve taken a couple of plane rides. And yes it could seem that way to you. But to me, this is like God answering every prayer I ever had. Every birthday wish coming true. But I don’t remember wishing or praying for any of this. Do I deserve this? Can I enjoy it? Or will it seem as though I am bragging?

Isn’t it crazy how even when we are happy we second guess it? What kind of question is “Do I deserve it?” EVERYONE deserves to be happy. And the only time it is unacceptable is if you are the only happy one around. I’m allowed to be happy. But once I am full, I have to make sure I am sharing that happiness. God is blessing me so much. So how can I pay that forward and bless someone else? I sure can’t buy them a plane ticket, but I can tell them stories and show appreciation.

This post might not be as exciting as my others but I’ve been storing this in my fortress. Along this journey I’m learning how to best receive these experiences so that I can give back just as much.

As I child I used to hug my pillow as tight as I could and pray for a better tomorrow. Never did I imagine that those tomorrows would look like today.

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