There I was. Standing in the middle of Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy, alone, with nothing more than a backpack and a certainty that soon it would make sense why I had chosen to come here. I wasn’t meeting Francesco, a friend of a friend, for a few more hours, so I had some time to amble along the cobblestone streets before refreshing after the thirteen-hour flight and making myself presentable for dinner. As I looked around, trying to decide which direction I should take, I saw a poster for a Gustav Klimt exhibition and felt an immediate lure. How could I have known that making the decision to see it would be the reason I would move to Vienna a year later, eventually ending up in Germany and living the life I had dreamed of as a child?
As I walked from room to room, enjoying the ambience that only inquisitiveness paired with that level of filigree can create, I couldn’t help but notice that I seemed to be moving closer and closer toward symphonic music. When I finally uncovered this mystifying space, I was escorted into it by a capacious curiosity. Beethoven’s 9th symphony was playing from the speakers and I found myself surrounded on three walls by a single piece of art. Spirituality, intemperance, sensuality, hope and greed, coalesced to create a masterpiece of eternal bliss. It was Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze and I had never been synchronously struck by stillness and harmony before like I was in that moment.
I have spent almost half of my life traveling into unknown spaces, thinking that I was moving out of my comfort zone, only to find that with every step along my journey, I moved more and more into it. I had to travel 4,800 miles from Denver, Colorado to Venice, Italy to feel the most alive and understood in that one moment than I ever had before in my life. It was standing there that I realized comfort is derived from honoring the spirit of who you are and following the path that belongs to you. Your comfort zone is with you wherever you go and trusting in that is where you’ll find your freedom.