Stepping out into the great unknown

Change. It is the only constant. This is just a chapter. It’s only a matter of time before I turn the page and start something new, a journey into the unknown.

As you may or may not know, I will be studying abroad this fall. I leave for Florence, Italy in August. It will be my new home for a few months, and I can’t wait.

Florence, Italy

Photo by eugkyr.

I have never lived outside of my hometown where I’ve grown up. It’s comfortable. It’s home. This move is a huge step for me, granted it’s not for much longer than a few months. But it is me really stepping outside of my comfort zone. It is the epitome of my independence. To live in a foreign country. In an unknown world where I know nothing more than a very minimal amount of the language.

No one really knows what the future holds. It is the great unknown. It is chock-full of surprising twists and turns.

“I’m choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.” -Elizabeth Gilbert

Although my decision to study abroad was a somewhat random and last-minute thought only about a month ago, there is nothing holding me back from doing it. I had thought about going abroad in the past, but I never found the courage to actually go through with it. There was always someone that held me back. A relationship. These men never intentionally or consciously kept me from pursuing a dream. It was me. I thought that if I left, I would lose them. I wasn’t ready for that. But now, I am finally free to be myself and by myself. I am taking that opportunity and running with it. I am entirely confident that I am making the right choice, no matter what anyone else tells me. I know that I will have the time of my life, and that makes me all the happier.

If a decision leaves you feeling hesitation instead of expectation, it’s probably not the right move.

Crystal Ball

I am in no way superstitious, but I had a little fun this morning with a free tarot card reading. My results confirmed any doubts and questions that may have been lingering about going abroad for a little while. Ironically, I could relate to my results and all of my cards, past, present, and future.


The Five of Swords in the Past position
Hopes have been shattered, ambitions crushed, vulnerabilities exploited by others. The enemy could be another individual, “the system,” or your own shortcomings or lack of self-respect. In any case, the defeat brings humiliation and a sense of helplessness. Life may feel like a cruel joke. These humbling circumstances are not completely grim. Pain can be a profound catalyst for growth, and dissolution offers the opportunity for a new start. To avoid being caught in a spiraling dynamic of bitterness and treachery, resign yourself to losing the battle. Search for the lessons that lie in the ruins. If you are the one who feels powerful and conquering at this time, ask yourself how you got here. Does a trail of others’ tears lie in your wake? When people gain at the expense of others, everyone ultimately loses.

The Empress in the Present position
In a reading, the Empress calls on you to love and care for yourself, body and soul. Follow your emotions and listen to your instincts. She also asks you to embody her qualities of nurturance, and give something of your own glory to the world.

The Four of Wands in the Future position
Meaning: This card portrays a joyful passage from one stage to the next. Like the May Day celebration, the Four of Wands is about the gaiety that encourages growth and abundance. The spring crops are in the ground. A good foundation has been established; great optimism is in order. Remember, delight has a vital place in creating lasting success. With hard work behind and more challenges ahead, now is the time to relax and enjoy. Take pride in all that you’ve accomplished. You’ve come a long way!

Carina Jaynes


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