Trust What Makes You Feel Like You

TODAY WAS ONE of those life changing days where you understand yourself just a little bit better.

That little difference, however, may in fact change the direction of your life, like veering left instead of right and going down an unknown path instead of one in which you’ve gone before.

Little decisions built up one after the other and led me on a journey deeper into my heart and soul.

I took my camera with me on an outing instead of leaving it at home, which I initially thought I’d do.

My destination would be Lisbon’s Panteão Nacional, a beautiful structure I explored in my first few days here.

It’s on the other side of the city (which is not too far), but I put my phone in my backpack and would use my instincts to find my way there instead of my phone’s maps.

I set out down a new path and after an excursion full of sun, rain, and many stops to enjoy the color that is Lisbon, I made it to the Panteão.

I love it there because next to the Panteão is the Jardim Botto Machado, a hillside park which overlooks the Tagus River.

I came to Lisbon not knowing anybody; in this new chapter, I can be anybody I want to be. What does that really mean? It means I can try new things, branch out, take chances, change.

But I like who I am.

This freedom which comes from starting fresh in a new city is making me a truer version of who I already am, not somebody I’m not.

I know that because of how I feel.

I’m discovering who I am by trusting that my inner light will lead me deeper and deeper into myself as I traverse further into the world and this experience called living.

I had this realization while sitting at Tazza in Giro, a quaint Italian café across the street from the park.

I sipped an espresso or two and journaled while listening to French, Portuguese and Italian being spoken around me.

I’m genuinely happy with this way of life — using the city as my home, and learning what it means to be a part of it.

I’m relatively young. Things will change — but right now this works for me.

Of course there’s nothing “wrong” with the way of life in the states — it has its pros and cons, just as life in Europe does, Asia, South America and Africa and even Antarctica.

Life in the U.S. is just different from what I’m experiencing here, and I’m honestly considering what to make of that.

I don’t feel alone. I don’t have culture shock. I’m happy.

Instead of going to the gym like I might at home, I essentially hiked across Lisbon to this park, did pushups on a park bench along the way, climbed a lot of stairs, and did some other exercises while looking at the river and taking in its salty breeze.

My soundtrack was the sound of the wind and the distant chatter of cafés.

I laid in the grass, breathed deeply, then went to Tazza in Giro and had smoked salmon on toast, a green juice and an espresso.

Inspired by my pal Gregory Benedikt’s latest advice to do what makes your palms sweat, I told the lovely waitress that she was pretty ’cause I was feelin’ so good!

I’m experiencing life, challenging it, and discovering who I am.

I know that because my heart feels good; my soul feels nourished, I feel alive.

All I can say is I’m following my heart, and damn, that’s exciting. I think we know when we’re living a life that’s truly ours.

It’s hard to describe, and really can only be felt. Perhaps it’s corny, but there’s no other way to express it.

Stay tuned for many more adventures to come; this city already feels like home, yet in my first week here I’ve barely scratched the surface.


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