My last post was about facing fears. I keep trying to face my fears and trying to overcome some of the anxiety that I feel. One fear that I keep having to face is going places and doing things on my own. This was something that I could not have ever fathomed doing just a few months ago. I always thought I needed to have someone with me, even if it was just a friend. Traveling home by myself or visiting a city or event by myself never really freaked me out, but spending a weekend or day somewhere alone was tough.
Sometimes finding a friend to travel with me was easy. However, I’ve realized not everyone wants to go to the same places that I do nor do they have the time to do so.
Recently, I have started to travel and spend the weekends by myself. Don’t get me wrong, I would rather spend time going places and having adventures with other people. I am always up for experiencing things with my friends and family. But I am not going to miss out on an adventure anymore for fear of being by myself. There is too much to see and do in this world. There is so much more outside this town I live in.
I have come to realize that there is a beauty in doing things by yourself and on your own time table. You can go where you want to go. You can eat where you want to eat. You can spend as much, or as little, time at one place as you want. As selfish as this may sound, you get to do you. You get to be you.
And sometimes, if you are the type who just goes with the flow or does what everyone else wants to do, it’s nice to do what you want to do. Though I must admit, I enjoy other people making the decisions sometimes. It opens my eyes to different things and makes me realize that I am interested in a variety of things. After all, don’t we all enjoy exploring and being exposed to new things?
The one place that I am happy going to at any time of the year is the beach. And quite honestly, I don’t care what beach it is. Up until this point, I’ve only been to beaches on the east coast, but I hope to get to the west coast of the U.S. at some point and see the oceans there. Or get to the Caribbean.
The beach is my happy place. It’s my refreshing place of renewal. It’s where I like to go to clear my head and get myself back together. It’s peaceful to me and I have found a lot of clarity and comfort there. The Lord knows it’s a place that I love to go to. It was the first place that I went and spent a weekend by myself. And it was the first place I went to when I was running away from everything.
The second time I visited the beach by myself, I went with the goals of being refreshed and to seek a little bit of solitude and time with the Lord. Even the time spent driving in the car to the beach is refreshing as I sing at the top of my lungs.
Though the beach was my first place that I went away to by myself and I have had some wonderful experiences there with friends, family, and with the Lord, I know it’s not where I will end up. It’s only a place to visit from time to time. It’s a place to recharge and seek the Lord’s presence. It’s a place for me to relax. If you don’t have a place where you can go to experience these things, I encourage you to find a place like that. It’s necessary.
Interestingly enough, the city has actually become a place where I feel most at home. It used to be that I wanted to live outside a city, like in the suburbs. I actually really liked where I grew up. I was in between New York and Philly, yet it still felt like a small town. There were plenty of farms and woods around, yet it was close enough that we could easily go to either city for the day. Looking back, I realize that the area was great. I love visiting both of those cities, even now.
However, I truly have fallen in love with our nation’s capital. I don’t know what it is about Washington, D.C., but I never want to leave when I come here. It feels like home to me now. I have come to love the hustle and bustle of city life. I love all the noise and the people. I love the diversity and different things that I can experience. There is so much to do and see. I love how much it exposes me to new things each time that I visit.
The first several times that I came here, I came with other people. I have since come here three times by myself. Each of my experiences has been eye opening. I have gotten to wander around the city and get my bearings. At first, I did all the touristy things, and sometimes it’s still nice to do them, but I love just walking around and talking to the people that I meet. Now, I’ve started to actually learn the metro system and people seem to have accepted me as a resident here.
It has let me find me and get over my fears of being alone. It has taught me to trust in God and know that He is going to direct and guide me. It has given me the chance to experience confirmation. It has allowed me to see that with Him, I can do all things.
I have learned that I can have adventures with Him, just the two of us. It has helped me to see that although I am not married with a family or taking these trips with other people, He is still doing mighty things each time. I have learned who I am in Him and have learned to be happy with who I am. Just because other people put limits on me and on Him, does not mean that I have to. Christ is on my side and is with me each step of the way. We are walking through this life together. I do not need to fear.
By going on these trips, in spite of my fears, I have been able to see and experience things that I wouldn’t have done otherwise. It makes me want to experience other things and go elsewhere. I do not want to limit what God can do in and through me.
So if you are like me and scared to do something on your own, don’t be. Don’t let others talk you out of it. If you want to go somewhere that other people don’t want to, take the trip yourself. Don’t let someone else tell you that you can’t do it or that you aren’t good enough. Don’t let someone keep you from experiencing what the Lord is trying to show you.
Go explore a new place and meet new people on your own. Or go seek out the Lord by yourself, without any distractions from other people. Life gets busy and things get in the way. Don’t forget to take time to get out of your comfort zone and experience something new. It may end up changing your dreams and goals. You never know how the Lord is going to move.