I’m not going to lie, today was one of the hardest days I’ve had in a long time.

I’ve never been good at goodbyes. They are the hardest things for me. They break my heart wide open. There were a lot of tears today. Leaving, in the airport, and finally arriving in Rome. It felt like there were old pieces of me dying and opening up space for new things to show up.

But like I said, today wasn’t easy. Today was heartbreaking in many ways.

I’ll never forget this Joseph Campbell quote…

“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”

I was smacked dead in the face with some fears that live deep inside of me – loneliness, not being able to pull through, wanting to quit and turn back…and many more. Fear woke up inside of me today as well as many other things. But there was happiness and joy there as well. I went out exploring throughout the evening and just walked the city in whichever direction I pleased and that seemed to cool everything down for me.

This trip is forcing me far outside my comfort zone. But that’s the point. Because absolutely no growth happens whatsoever in doing the same thing over and over again. It’s a dead zone.

You’ve got to get out there.

You’ve got to get uncomfortable.

One thing that really hasn’t helped me today is me getting in the way of myself. I can be incredibly hard on myself and expect myself to make these massive adjustments with no problems and continue forward as if nothing was wrong. But I realized later this evening that I have literally plucked myself out of the life I’ve known forever and put myself straight into a place that I have absolutely no context or bearings for.

That’s going to take some time to adjust.

So it’s one breath at a time. One step at a time. That’s all I can do right now.

This is the bravest thing I’ve done in my life.

With that, it’s also the scariest. As hard as today was, I know that I will be okay. I will find my groove. I will find my footing and start walking more confidently than I am right now. This process is full of growing pains. You want to show up in the world with all of the things you had back home but you don’t because you haven’t spent any time there.

So you are a beginner again.

You’re a beginner at making friends. You are learning where things are and how to get to them. But maybe the biggest thing of all? You’re learning about yourself again. Back home I had spent a lifetime getting familiar with everything. Every moment doing this feels like a new lifetime. It’s all unfolding. It’s all new every single step of the way.

That’s how it’s supposed to be.

Just because it’s hard at first doesn’t mean it’s always going to be that way. So I keep telling myself, “stay open…stay open…stay open.”

I say this because at times everything in me wants to close off and shut down. I try the best I can to stand up strong in those moments. I try to muster up all the courage I can to be the man I know I am. Sometimes tears spill out. I can’t help that. But that doesn’t mean I don’t try.

Even the intention matters.

So here I am. It’s day 2 and I got my way through day 1 the best I can.

I have an entire city to explore today.

I have a major adventure in front of me.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project