Here’s reality. I’m not going to get back to Europe anytime soon. At least not for a year or so.

It’s depressing. It makes me want to wail and kick my feet on the floor. It makes the gap in my heart only that much larger.

But it’s reality.

I was going to look at this box of photos on my desk from Europe but instead, I’ve decided to write this post and look up.

Where I live is not a great adventure, by any stretch. Or is it? I’ve lived in the country my whole life and let me tell you…there’s nothing “fun” or adventure-like about having to drive 20 minutes to get to a Walmart.

Where I work…that’s another story. Where I get off the highway, there’s a mall and a bunch of places to eat. And I used to live there, as a child. It feels like going home every weekday. Then, of course, I have to drive east into Rocky River where I work. There’s not much along the way except a bunch of houses, so it seems kind of boring (and I’m not a big fan of driving so deviating from my given route usually is never on my list)…but it seems like there’s a wealth of adventures just waiting to be had! (If only gas prices were a little lower and I didn’t spend so much time driving to work).

I wish I had never lost that sense of fearlessness when I left England. My sense of wonder of and awe kind of died when I got home. I got scared again. Scared of not getting a job, of not getting paid enough, of driving on the highway, of gaining weight, of paying bills…I was never that scared in Europe. I wasn’t scared of the Paris metro at midnight. I wasn’t scared of panhandlers or purse snatchers. I wasn’t scared of traveling alone or of getting lost.

I guess I shouldn’t say I wasn’t scared, because some things did make me a little nervous…but I never let that hold me back from doing something amazing. Now it seems like even the thought of getting on the highway to drive to the county to the eat makes me nervous. I still haven’t actually done it. Which is lame.

So my challenge to myself, starting this week and lasting forever, is to start living life more fearlessly..again. The route I take to work isn’t going to change…but I might start going out for lunch. I’m going to explore the city I work in. Go to the mall after work. And start learning more Italian in the car during my 3 hour commute. Life is what you make it…so I’m going to make it as close to what it was in Europe. Amazing. Fearless. Rewarding.