My spring semester started strangely because I was able to return from Argentina two weeks after classes had already started.
When I returned from my country, I had a stopover in Los Angeles and I realized that I had forgotten my passport with my student visa inside. I was very close to being sent back home, but for some strange reason, the immigration officers were kind to my mistake and let me take my flight to Hawai’i to resume my studies.
Until then I thought that had been quite adrenaline in my life and I returned projecting a semester of calm and not getting into troubled situations.
When I spoke to immigration officials, I explained that I had a planned trip to Europe in late May. I was finally going to visit my friends and family in Spain. Obviously, without having my passport with my visa stamped on it, it would not be possible for me to return since my visa is in Argentina.
“Excuse me, but you will not be able to travel to Europe this year. I recommend that you stay here.” the immigration officer told me with a sad face. I don’t know why, but the words of that man stuck in my mind and I knew automatically that this trip was not destined to happen.
The first months flowed harmoniously and I was even able to get to work on what I love most: writing. I made new friends in new classes and was also able to meet up with friends I already knew from the previous semester.
In my spare time I thought about how I could go to Argentina to get my papers so I could travel to Spain in the summer. The ticket I bought had no refund and I would lose the money completely. In addition to that, my trip was planned with a friend who was a very special person.
Life kept sending me signals that Europe was not a good idea, that it would be better to stop fighting against the flow of the universe and situations. But I realized this when I stopped wanting to control what was happening around me.
My boyfriend also broke up with me and left the state after a year of relationship. And the special person with whom I was going to make my trip decided to disappear and stop being my friend.
Never in my life would I have imagined that a global pandemic caused by a virus was going to be the last blow.
I estimate that this semester I was destined to lose all kinds of things.
Come to think of it, it even seems funny because when I remember all the signals the universe sent me, it is clear that I didn’t want to pay attention. As much as I evaded everything I was afraid of happening, it ended up happening the same.
I was worried for a long time about losing my flight money, my boyfriend, my friend, my classes, and my travel, but one day I stopped waiting. I stopped worrying, and I said to myself, “If I have to lose this money, then I will let it go.”
I decided to use this experience to learn to receive life as it is and not as I think it should be. Of course, at the beginning, I was very angry and scared. I would have loved to be able to travel, but I understand that it is probably not the best time in my life.
I stopped thinking completely about the material things that I would lose, the plans that would be suspended, and the people leaving my life without a reason. I accepted all of those fears even when they were not what I wanted.
This semester I let go of all the things that no longer belong to me: plans, partner, friends, study methods, travel, feelings, fear of getting sick, fear of not doing a good job in school.
Many people think that this semester has been a bad experience, but it left me a great lesson and allowed me to let myself flow with life.
When I stopped worrying, my grades in college improved, my job performance improved, and my mind felt more free. Also, the airline contacted me to tell me that my money was going to be reimbursed. So even though I didn’t care anymore about that, everything worked out.
Sometimes we become so attached to the ideas that we have of how life should be that we end up doing unnecessary harm to ourselves. When we unconditionally accept reality the way it is, we free ourselves and feel peace.
Today I am trapped in Hawai’i and without any kind of plan. I was able to take the backpack that was loaded with plans off my shoulders and let them all blow away without any doubt. I feel at peace knowing that I don’t have to fix the world, nor should the world be what I want.
This semester I lost many things, but all that was necessary for me to lose. Today I see the good in the bad, and from this experience, I was able to recognize that in learning to lose, you also earn a lot.