I met Savannah Rose Crespo at a house party in celebration of a man I was dating at the time. I’m not even sure we spoke to each other much. I made light small talk with people there, but, I was nervous and feeling a bit out of my element. I took a step into the kitchen when I heard a gentle but strong voice in the other room. She spoke of all of the things that my heart screams from my chest on a daily basis and I gravitated to her. I listened and probably chimed in some (as I’m known to do) and left feeling like my heart and her heart would probably hold hands if they could.
As she explores some new stages in her life Savannah has taken to putting her beautiful heart into words and I’m beyond thrilled to have her sharing with you guys today. Please, please, please give her all your love in the form of supportive comments. ‘Cause her kind heart has earned it.
Hello dear reader,
I am finishing the last edits to this piece as I sit in the Frankfurt International Airport, as I wait to board the plane that will return me stateside. This summer abroad has been full of airports. Full of travel.
Eighty-seven days. Twenty-five cities. Six countries. Two pair of shoes–a pair for walking and a pair for dancing–both requiring me to trust my feet. Countless trains, planes, and automobiles. An immeasurable number of steps taken. All together? One giant leap of faith.
This leap of faith began before I even boarded a plane to cross the Atlantic. It started with my decision to quit the perceived security of a prescribed trajectory of a four year college track. This meant I also parted ways with my wonderful partner who I had built a deep bond of comfort and safety with for almost half a year. And finally, I said goodbye to my friends, my father, and all that was familiar, and said hello to the unknown.
I decided to say yes to not knowing what the hell I was doing–yes to following my bliss and having no idea where I would end up.
I decided to uproot, and in doing so, I began to find new ways to grow.
The phrase “sun in bloom” came to me at the start of this trip and has followed me ever since. And indeed, this summer has been full of sun, full of blooming, of unearthing, of unfolding, of emboldening, and of embodying all that I am instead of all that I thought I should be.
And here I am.
Here’s to beginning to write in ruby red journals, bound blank pages of my heart soon to be opened, to be marred and marked with the stories of how I have loved and lost and felt and fled and danced and laughed and forgotten and remembered and ended and began again and again.
Here’s to all the terrors of transitions. All the times where it felt like too much. All the newness, the rawness, and the grief of suddenly having the present becoming the past, and the future remaining uncertain.
Here’s to taking the chance of making each day a new one, and to the late nights that turned into early mornings. The mornings where I stumbled home with friends after dancing all night as the sun rose over the skyscrapers. And the evenings where I sat in stillness alone on a hillside and watched the sun set over the treetops.
Here’s to the cobblestone streets of so many of these old cities, stones laid by hand, trodden upon by thousands of feet over hundreds of years. Here’s to the steeples and stain-glass windows of churches, to grey stone walls covered in dark green moss, to red tiled rooftops, to brick walkways along blue canals, and to the dust and dirt of forgotten footpaths. Here’s to all the walks I took alone, and all those moments when I felt closer to myself than I ever have before.
Here’s to the preciousness of a week, a day, an hour, spent holding hands with a stranger who became a friend who became a lover who became a note slipped into my pocket and a kiss tucked into the corner of my mouth.
Here’s to the smile that has been my savior so many times on this trip. That smile, which is the simplest and sincerest thing I am able give away so freely to every passerby on the street.
Here’s to all of the times when I unintentionally got lost, only to remind myself that there are no wrong directions, only detours. Here’s to all of the times when I intentionally got lost, and the act of trust it took to know I would find myself exactly where I needed to be.
Here’s to the utter freedom found in riding a bicycle as fast as possible through empty streets on a summer night. The wind whistling through my fingerstips is the closest thing I’ll ever feel to flying, and as the nighttime air traced goosebump patterns on my skin, my chest ached because my heart wanted to touch everything the air touched, and I laughed in elation at the idea that maybe everything in my life was already okay.
Here’s to all the mornings spent sitting on teeny tiny balconies while watching the world wake up. Here’s to all of the cups of coffee and the conversations that accompanied them, either between myself and another, or between my pen and a piece of paper.
Here’s to the books that showed up at exactly the right time and place while I was traveling. The books that gave me the words I didn’t even know I lacked and yet somehow already understood. And here’s to the journey of discovering what it means to have my own voice, both in silence and in speech.
Here’s to the process of finding forgiveness for myself, and in turn, the forgiveness for not finding it sooner. Here’s to trying to forgive myself for all the time I’ve spent hating my body, and here’s to slowly finding peace and power with its size and shape.
Here’s to believing that I am worthy enough to be happy, to be free, to be loved. And here’s to dedicating myself to being in others and their ability to believe in themselves.
Here’s to forever being in transit, to never ever really “getting there” but always choosing how I show up. To traipsing, and sometimes tripping, into all the transformations of who was yesterday, will be tomorrow, but most importantly, am today.
Here’s to all the photos that I didn’t take, all of the moments that I didn’t capture, all of the glimpses of memories that I won’t remember in a month or a year. Here’s to all the significance that we cannot, and should not, seek to preserve because it is the kind that can only, and should only, be lived over and over again.
Here’s to living.
This is the end of one adventure, and the beginning of the next.
And as always, here I am.
I am, a sun in bloom.
-Savannah Rose Crespo-