My nose pealed to the window of the bus, field after field of sunshine before me. I decided to use my skills of persuasion, and vocalized my long time dream to the bus driver.
Ten minutes later, I was walking among the sunflowers of Tuscany. Always drawn to sunflowers, I didn’t know until some time later why I had always been so lured by their presence. The sunflower always faces the sun, and is a representative of strength. It can grow anywhere, and is best just left alone, independent. Yes, the bright yellow replica of sunshine is obvious. But, you can easily research and see how the sunflower has always been a symbol of longevity, joy, hope and strength.
Then there’s me. Those who know me today, see me as the joyous and independent sunflower. The girl who will pack a backpack and hostel and train her way through Italy for six weeks, alone. But, this wasn’t always me. The girl who grew up without a father figure, except ones who were abusive, came and went. The girl who then always looked for acceptance and love in all the wrong places. The girl who married the wrong man, got a divorce, then went to Peru for a month. Yep, that was about the moment, the sunflower began to emerge. But, it would take a good almost ten years after that to get me to here, the sunflower in full bloom. Yes, Peru was the beginning of my confidence building, free spirit weirdness. But, I truly believe that we are never in full bloom. We are always growing, learning, and trying to point our compass towards the sun.
That compass has taken me around the world and back. Slowly but surely, the sunflower blooms, matures, each step of this hippy girl’s journey. A journey now that has lead me to this precise moment. I look around. I see my bicycle, which I ride almost daily. I see my backpack, almost packed for my trip. I see the girl in overalls, who’s coming into her own.