• Realizing that my backpack is a greater weight on my mind than my shoulders, and sending home even two pounds of stuff is like floating.
  • Coming to settle on the notion that I do in fact really want something, and allowing myself small detours and splurges to go ahead and buy a dang chocolate bar. And then eat it voraciously and without care on the sidewalk while people do double takes at the little American.
  • Putting one foot in front of the other no matter how many new aches I am feeling in my feet, legs, back, and heart.
  • Writing! Blog, personal journal, postcards, emails; I like it all.
  • Standing resolutely in front of the subway map for a good ten minutes until I figure out once and for all where I need to go, gosh darn it.
  • Making plans. Doing them. Making small lists and crossing things off.
  • Sitting next to a girl at the airport for a while until I finally work up the courage to smile and say hi, even though it’s somewhat past the point where it wouldn’t have been awkward when I first sat down. My stomach may feel like lead for various reasons, but I know that talking to people, anyone, is the greatest relief to my distress, and I work hard to make this happen for myself instead of waiting for it happen to me.
  • Finding time to read my bible every day.
  • Washed out photos of a stunning coast is incredibly frustrating. So, I read my camera manual after an embarrassing number of years so that I can finally learn how to take better pictures, intentionally.
  • Exchanging life lessons with strangers. Such as: debating the merits of anger (or lack thereof) with a new friend over a beer. He is skeptical of my “buddhism.” He goes away with some thoughts of peace, perhaps, and I go away happily better equipped for socializing in the broad world.
  • Realizing I might have small things to give back, instead of just being a perpetual sponge.
  • Getting teased instead of being formal and polite, making real jokes and laughing the kind of familiar laugh with someone you connect with over a couch surfing dinner. Quick flashes of that sought after I-swear-I’ve-known-you-for-longer-than-ten-minutes thing.
  • Wearing lipstick, hello.
  • Coming to understand what I want. Maybe.
  • No longer being clumsy with anxiety. Feeling like Tiffany again.
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