Adventures in Culture and Travel

09 October, 2012

There's a time for everything under Heaven

If you don't give your heart wings, you will never, never,
never, ever fly.
There's a time for everything. A time to cry, a time to laugh, and as Ren McCormack would say "there's a time to dance".

It was this line in the movie Footloose (the original one) that's stuck with me for a lot of my life. It's a good metaphor for travel. As everyone knows by now, my last visit to Brussels involved a bit too much crying in alleyways, and I'm certain there was some character assassination because of this act, by those I first met on that trip, and who I've returned to befriend. Amazingly, this as well as other issues beyond my control were obstacles which I've hurdled successfully. I've managed to change people's expectations of me. Indeed, there was a time for tears, a time to heal, and a time for which such events drove me forward- moved me into the next phase of life. One in which I, we, all have a unique opportunity to experience something special. First impressions aside, I've proven I can dance.

That's what this is, this experience here in Brussels. Sadly, I'm not so sure my counterparts (other students) recognize this opportunity for what it is. It's a chance to dance with randomness, and a wild freedom of not being who or what you were before. Sure, we're all going to get to go home and reminisce of our time in Europe as we age, and while those who listen to our tales may (or may not) be impressed by our vague verbal paintings of life's experiences- the truth is, not everyone who came abroad will have the same experience. For some the experience, I suspect may be uneventful. Maybe it's inhibition  fear, or serendipity. Yet this is, for most of us, the defining moment of our lives, one in which, once set in stone it cannot be eroded- it cannot be undone. 

It's not that I have it all figured out either. In fact, I'm constantly aware of the importance of "the dance", and suffer from disappointment if I'm not pushing myself 100% beyond my limits. I know regret. Out of anyone here, I know what it's like to "fix things". Yet this awareness provides me a unique ability to say that this, right now is my time. "See this is our time to dance, our way of celebrating life."

Of course, it's not a question of whether you can actually dance, it's a question of, can you hear the music?