Have you ever done something and didn't really know how it was going to pan out? I feel that way right now. I had no idea how this would truly go. Some moments I thought it would be blissful and amazing and incredible (which it has been). Some other moments I thought I'd be packing by bags and heading home by now. I've been here 5 weeks. I cannot believe it!
The fall colors are starting to change here in Prague and each day new color bursts explode around the city! A walk I've taken several times before becomes a new adventure. It's not a bad state of being really. Shouldn't life always be this way? I have found myself previously getting into routines and just ignoring everything around me. In Prague, I feel like that's almost impossible. There's just too much to see! Will I ever see it all?
This morning I went for a run on the other side of Prague. It took me 45 minutes by tram to get there, but was completely worth it! Everywhere I have lived for the past 6 or so years, I've had a place that I can go and just be. Today, I found two such places. The first is this wonderful park with paths on the west side of Prague. The other is an area called Vyšehrad. The Vyšehrad area is home to a 10th century castle which includes a basillica, cemetary, and other interesting spots. It's a huge park area now as they converted this walled castle grounds into a park. It sits up on a hill next to the river and has a spectacular view of the city. It is truly an enchanting area. On this incredible fall day, it was full of locals and visitors alike simply strolling down the paths and enjoying the breathtaking views of this incredible city!
I met a couple from Alabama this morning on the tram. I asked how they liked Prague and they said they didn't really like it. The woman said, "Disney would be proud. It's obvious they have spent the last 20 years cleaning up the city and making it perfect and easy for tourists. Everything here is catered to tourists." I smiled and didn't say much, because I had NEVER heard anyone speak of this incredible city in this way. It threw me off guard to say the least. The couple had come from Budapest and loved it. It was clear to me they had only experienced the center of Prague and hadn't seen the true gems of this city. I have never heard of anyone complaining that a major metropolitan city was too clean and too perfect! Those are some of the things I love most of this place! Anyway - to each her own!
As I enjoyed the sunny, warm, fall day, I got to thinking about transitions. Fall is always an interesting time of transition. As I think about transitions, I have thought more about how I personally handle transitions. There have been a wide range of reactions to transition in my life, but I am noticing a difference in this transition. For the first time that I can remember, it is not causing me major stress. Now, let's be honest - there has been stress indeed. But for the most part, I have been able to bounce back from that stress relatively easy. I'm proud of this change, and I can see how this leap of faith has turned into a truly eye-opening and soul-searching experience. There was a part of me before I left that wasn't sure how long I'd make it here. Now that I'm here, and I realize it's still early, I can see myself being here for a bit. I'm not making any major commitments. I still have a contract through June and will see what will happen next. For now, I'm so happy I'm here. I'm so grateful for this opportunity. And I'm proud of myself for doing it. I feel like I'm truly living my life and making the most of each day. This experience is a precious gift - one that I've allowed myself to take - and I still pinch myself almost every day because I cannot believe I am here.
This Time of Year by Better Than Ezra has been one of my favorite songs for 10 years now. It always makes me think of transitions and fall, so I'm including the lyrics below.
"This Time Of Year"
Well, there's a feeling in the air
Just like a Friday afternoon.
Yeah, you can go there if you want
Though it fades too soon.
So go on, let it be.
If there's a feeling coming over me,
Seems like it's always understood this time of year.
Well, I know there's a reason to change.
Well, I know there's a time for us.
You think about the good times
And you live with all the bad.
You can feel it in the air,
Feeling right this time of year.
Well, there's a football in the air,
Across a leaf blown field.
Yeah, and there's your first car on the road,
And the girl you'd steal.
So go on with yourself
If there's a feeling that there's something else.
Seems like it's always understood
This time of year.