255/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. Confidence. I have it now but I definitely didn’t have it back in the day. I slowly gained a sense of who I am over the years by starting to believe in my abilities and try things outside of my comfort zone. As I am writing these gratitude posts, people and experiences re-enter my thoughts and allow for reflection. I can’t recall if the events I’m about to detail happened just after high school or just after university – I am thinking the former but I could be mistaken. Regardless, I had finished a milestone and wanted to celebrate it. I had never traveled on my own and thought that a backpacking Europe trip would be the thing to do as everyone did that. How I coordinated it with three people I barely knew is beyond me but the next thing I knew, myself, two females and one male were on our way to Europe – I don’t even remember their names. The girls had the itinerary all planned and without really thinking about the details and being caught up in the excitement, we end up in London England. I should have had a clue when they dynamics weren’t working on the trip over but it didn’t register. We spent the first two days in a hostel (so not me!!) and of course, I was getting homesick and regretting going on the journey as I was really out of my element. Making matters worse, the girls didn’t get along with the guy and told me that they were going to casually lose him along the way. I was shocked!! Who does that? And if you could easily do that to him on day 2, you could do that to me on day 3 or day 18 (since it was a month trip). My mind started freaking out as I knew I could never handle Europe on my own. I told the guy that this was their plan and he said we could go our own way right now. All sorts of emotions were coming over me and I just wanted to go home. I phoned home in a panic and told my mom what was going on. She tried to get me to continue on with the trip but I wouldn’t have it. She found some relatives that I could stay with until a return flight could be arranged and I left the dysfunctional group that night. I felt bad for the guy as I knew he would have been loyal but I was in way over my head – I wasn’t independent as he was and I was outside of my comfort zone. Yes, to the two girls, this is a backhanded gratitude post in your lack of loyalty which taught me that it’s okay to quit something when you are not comfortable and people aren’t there for you. Up until that point, I tried and tried in my life and never gave up on anything but this was the first time I threw in the towel when I knew I couldn’t handle it. To the guy, I only knew you in passing in school but was so impressed that you went on your own way and discovered Europe. I wish I had had your confidence at the time but I’m also glad that I didn’t as that moment allowed me to reflect on my weaknesses and take my time developing myself and my own personality. Do I wish I had ventured out of my comfort zone? Hell yes! Do I regret it? Hell yes! Does it haunt me? Not at all as I knew I was still a child in a grown man body and wasn’t ready for the independence. To all three of you, you all had a subconscious shaping on the man that I am today in different ways. Yes, I took a lot of time becoming independent and self-reliant and capable but I thank you all in different ways in letting me reflect on my weakness and learn from it.