Peter Pan’s quote “To live would be an awfully big adventure” stuck in the back of my mind and grew even more poignant as time continued. The train rides to class along the Irish seacoast listening to Disney-movie soundtracks evoked strange and compelling emotions inside me that I didn’t understand. To figure them out, I would walk for miles by the shores of the Irish Sea and up the small mountain that stood watch over the River Liffy. As the tiny stones crunched under my feet and the light drizzle cooled my face, I began to realize that I was looking for something.
At first, I was looking for answers. I wanted to know why who I was did not match who I wanted to be. I wanted to know why my relationships were so superficial. I wanted to know why my religion didn’t fit with what I understood about reality. I wanted to know what I wanted, but didn’t know why I wanted to know this. For the first time in my life, I realized that no one could tell me what I was supposed to want or feel. I was alone with the world and looking into the empty shell a life that I once thought I understood.
Dublin was not the first place that I encountered this problem. It simply was the place where I began to realize just how deeply it was rooted into my life. For years I had ignored the rumblings of discontent that indicated something was wrong. Now, I realized I could confront them early, or wait until I had invested more of my life in a way that I might regret. Blending in with the other tourists walking along the river between north and south Dublin, I made a decision that would change the course of my history. I decided I was going to find the truth, no matter what it cost.
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