Hidden Lesson

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hidden Lesson

Every experience has something to teach us.

We learn from our experiences. We grow from them.

This past weekend, during my trip to Vegas, I was looking forward to learning something new. I was expecting to gain something from the experience. I know every experience has something to teach me about myself, and my direction in life.

Last Spring Break, I roadtripped to the Grand Canyon with my best girl friend, her boyfriend, and her mom. The experience taught me the art of successful roadtrip travel. Growing up, roadtrips were typically stressful events that left me muderously annoyed with the people I was traveling with. There wasn’t enough freedom or space. I learned how to create the freedom and space during my trip to the Grand Canyon, and returned from the trip bonded with my travel companions instead of sick of them.

I also learned how vastly small I am in comparison to the rest of the world. It’s so easy to forget just how precious and fragile life is. Seeing the Grand Canyon reminded me not to take my life for granted, and I returned home with a determination to take ownership of my life and make all my dreams come true.

It was clear immediately what I had to gain from my trip to the Grand Canyon. It was easy to apply the lessons I learned to my life. 

But I’m having trouble figuring out what lessons I learned from my most recent trip to Vegas. And perhaps that’s because it’s only been an hour since I returned home, but I’ve had plenty of time to think it over, and no specific lesson comes to mind.

I’d felt the calling for Vegas for years now. I remember specifically the first time I honestly felt the urge to travel to Vegas. I was with an old high school friend and his friend and his friend’s girlfriend. We were playing games at Gattitown and I had just won the jackpot on one of those lucky-coin games for the second time in a row.

“Dang, we should take you to Vegas!” my friend said.

“You should!” I said, and I meant it.

I told myself I’d go for my twenty-first, and when that passed, I made plans to go for a friend’s twenty-first, and when that didn’t work out, I went this past weekend with my favorite people. 

We started making the plans a whole month in advance. There was much that could have gone wrong, but miraculously nothing did. We drove through the night and the snow without any trouble with many excited stops along the way for pictures. We made perfect time, and created perfect memories. I felt like I grew even closer to my favorite people, and I didn’t think that was even possible.

But there was no “ah-ha” my-life-makes-sense-now moment, no startling realization, no epically overwhelming emotions of gratitude. During the trip and the weeks leading up to it, I felt like the entire Universe was conspiring to ensure I went on this trip. Everything clicked into place so perfectly, and every experience unfolded effortlessly. I thought for sure this meant I was destined to learn something important, something essential for my life. 

But perhaps all I needed was a break. Just me and my favorite people driving half-way across the country together, soaking up the sights, the glitter and glam of Las Vegas, the laughter, dancing, and stiletto-induced tears.

We had a really amazing time. It was a wonderful trip. And maybe that’s all it needed to be. Maybe there was nothing in particular to be learned or gained.

Or perhaps the lesson was as simple as “Enjoy yourself. You deserve it.”

Who knows?

All I know is I had a blast, and I’d experience it all again in a heartbeat. It was incredible. The most happiness I’d ever experienced in one weekend.

And that’s all that counts. :)

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