I was 24, and I felt like my life was falling apart. After another monotonous day working at the Chilean Navy’s language school, I found myself sitting on the beach and gazing out at the beautiful Pacific Ocean, thinking about how hard the last year had been.
Just a few weeks after graduating college, I was so overwhelmed and unsure about what to do next that when my boyfriend offered to fly me to Chile for a vacation, I jumped at it. What was supposed to be a two-week vacation turned into ten long, confusing months. I didn’t stay because I was following my heart, I stayed because I had no idea what else to do.
There I was: one massive earthquake, three apartments, and four dissatisfying jobs later, I found myself in the midst of a heart-wrenching breakup.
Life hadn’t felt easy or joyful for a long time, and looking back I realize that I thought it was normal to feel this way. It had been so long since I had felt like myself, and I had started to accept this as my new normal.
But that day on the beach, as I gazed into the sunset-streaked Pacific Ocean, I caught a glimmer of something that felt so foreign to me at the time, I hardly recognized it: hope.
Hope that my future would be a lot better and brighter than my past. Hope that I was going to lead an amazing and fulfilling life. Hope that the unknown road that lay before me was a lot brighter than the painful year that lay behind me.
This memory stands out so vividly in my mind because it was so different from how I had been feeling. It was as if the ocean reconnected me with myself and my infinite potential.
That feeling of hope and lightness was fleeing, but the memory has stayed with me forever. And my life has gotten better and better, just as I had envisioned that day.
Five years later, I find myself once again living blocks away from the same ocean that captivated my very soul and reminded me of the possibilities that lay before me. The other day as I sat on Venice Beach watching the sunset, I felt like a part of me had come home. I wanted to shout to my younger self, “YES, life WILL get so much better, just hold on. You are going through a lot right now, and the next few years won’t be easy either…but on the other side of these challenging times is magic, expansion, and dreams you haven’t even imagined yet. Hold onto hope, it will carry you through.”
I feel hopeful once again, as I settle into my new life in California. The future is unknown, but I have hope that my life is going to get so much better, even beyond my wildest dreams. I can feel it, even if I can’t quite see it.
And that is my wish for you. That you believe in a brighter future for yourself, one beyond what you can even imagine for yourself. If you are going through a hard time right now, grasp onto the belief that something better is on the way, because it is. You are going through this right now for a reason, and even if you don’t understand why, this experience is in service to your growth.
And with that, I’ve just inspired myself to eat my lunch by the ocean. Sending you love, hope and sunshine from California.