Today I want to indulge myself for a moment in telling you a story from my adventures in Europe last summer. Don't worry, you'll love this story, and it has an incredible lesson in it that I can't wait to share with you.

Last summer I spent 6 weeks studying in Torino, Italy and got to spend a bit of my time backpacking around to various other countries. This was a truly LIFE CHANGING experience that I will cherish the rest of my life so I'm asking for forgiveness in advance for all the times I will inevitably bring it up in my posts. I promise I will try to not be too annoying with the "that time I was in Europe" nonsense. (you'll hate it, but secretly love it I promise)

So anyways, the story I want to share with you today is from my very last day in Europe. It had been 6 weeks of absolutely amazing, seeing Florence, Cinque Terre, Paris, Pisa, Berlin, Venice, and Rome. Swimming in the Mediterranean, eating pasta to my hearts content, and soaking up the culture of a thousand years. Okay, I'm bordering on annoying, got it, back to the story.

So it was my very last day in Europe and I was in Amsterdam. I had spent the previous day there soaking it up, I had saved it for last because it had been a lifelong dream. I had visited the Anne Frank House, cried over Van Gogh's Sunflowers, eaten the most amazing slice of apple pie I have EVER had, and biked through the floating flower district, and the final thing I had planned to do to end my European adventure was to bike the 20 miles out to the countryside to see the famous windmills I had heard so much about.

But, much to my dismay, when I woke up that final morning, feeling the heaviness of my heart at having to leave such a beautiful place, but excited for the plans of the day I looked out the window to see that it was pouring. Absolutely pouring rain, which is not uncommon in Holland. What am I going to do I thought.... I got ready for the day, packed my bags, stored my things at the check-out desk of the hostel, and prayed, PRAYED, that it would stop raining. It didn't. So I decided that I could wait for a little while, ate some breakfast, chatted with another study abroad student that had just arrived and gave her some advice from someone who was at the end of their adventure, and after an hour went back outside and it was still raining. still POURING.

"Well", I thought, "I sure am not going to let this rain stop me from seeing the windmills. I've been dreaming of them since I was a little tiny girl (when my dad brought me back wooden shoes from his trip to Holland), it is my final day in Europe,  and WHO CARES ABOUT A LITTLE RAIN!" (my exact thoughts) So I zipped up my raincoat (which I was wearing for the very first time in my entire 6 weeks of the hot, humid Italian summer), loaded up some water and my umbrella, walked out to my bike, jumped on, and headed on my way.

I was like a giddy school-girl riding on the road alongside all the locals traveling to work that rainy, Tuesday morning. I had not been riding for 5 minutes when the rain started to let up.As I rode on, still wondering how wet I was going to be by the time I returned to the city, but feeling like it was going to be 100% totally worth it, the rain continued to lessen until it was just a tiny sprinkle. I got to the edge of the city and continued into the countryside and after about 30 minutes I saw it. The antique windmills I had been dreaming of all my life. And guess what? The rain had completely stopped. The sun was shining. I felt like I'd died and gone to heaven.

I took some pictures, basked in the sunshine, and soaked up the moment before a strong nagging feeling told me to get back on my bike and continue on my way (to the cheese and wooden shoe farm that was 2 miles up the road). So I got on the bike, and rode, and as I pulled into the entrance to the farm it again started to POUR. I jumped off my bike, ran inside, and spent 30 minutes being educated by the cutest little blond Dutch boy about cheese and wooden shoes. After trying on some shoes, buying some cheese, and flirting just a tad, I stepped outside and guess what? No, the Dutch boy didn't chase me out and profess his love, BUT the rain stopped, I got on my bike and rode back into the city past green pastures and blue streams straight to the bike shop to return my rented bicycle.

And you won't believe what happened. The moment. the literal moment that I stepped into the bike shop, some thunder cracked and the POURING rain started again. (I keep capitalizing the word pouring to help you understand the amount of rain that was coming down from the sky. This was not a mere sprinkle, it was POURING.) Literally, the moment after I stepped into the shop to return the bike, the rain started again. I could not believe it. 

Now, I'm not telling you this story because I think that I am some special person who can control the weather and cause rain to stop. But this was the lesson I learned that day... If there is something I truly want, and I show forth a little bit of faith and a whole lot of determination to get it, not letting any amount of inconvenience or annoying circumstances get in the way, the universe will let me have it. 

And when you truly want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.

— Paulo Coelho

This had been one of my favorite quotes and that day in Amsterdam I quite literally was shown how it was the truth. Over the past year since that experience, I have thought back to it many times. While looking for jobs and nothing working out, while questioning my decision about my career path and deciding what to do next, while dealing with frustrating romantic relationships that end badly, when being dealt trying medical news and dealing with the aftermath, and while starting a business with literally no idea how it is going to turn out I have remembered this experience and the joy I felt when seeing the windmills underneath the blue skies and sunshine; when only moments before I had been questioning my path looking up at dark skies and driving through pouring rain. 

So. the moral of the story is... Anything you want is possible. You simply have to make the fierce decision that you will have it and that you are not going to wait any longer! When you decide that you truly want something, (and I would add, take the first step in showing your determination in going forth to get it) all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it. God is good. 

I know that the life you've been dreaming of is TOTALLY possible for you! It's time for you to tune in and ask yourself what you truly desire in your life -- and then take the first step to make it happen. Decide that nothing is going to stop you. Jump on that bike, and see those windmills! 

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