Welcome to the new and improved blog! New name, new host, new layout etc. Three months ago while on my month long back-packing trip through Europe, I realized that I needed to re-brand and re-work this space, so, here it is!
Don't worry - I will always be real and tell it like it is. But after a few "ah-ha" moments on train rides across Europe, I realized I needed to expand this blogs reach because I have big plans, and the old space just wasn't working.
I've been home for a three months and I am still not settled back into "real" life. My apartment is still a mess, I'm still trying to get settled at my new job, and I'm struggling to come up with a routine I am excited about. And if I'm being really honest- I'm procrastinating getting all of those things in order (well, not the new job, that will just come with training and time).
I'm afraid that by getting myself and my apartment in order, and finally feeling settled, it is a slippery slope back into my old routine and my old life. Which terrifies me because on my trip I realized something, or, more appropriately, re-realized something: I don't want my old life.
See, the biggest thing my trip did for me was reconfirm and validate everything I have always known to be true about myself.
It supported every idea and desire I have had for years about how I wanted my life to be, but allowed others to influence. It exposed everything I had buried deep down for years, and somehow lost sight of.
In short - over the five weeks I spent traveling between countries, I slowly chipped away at the layers of external influences and societal expectations that have built up over the years, and lead me astray from who I am, and what I really want out of life. And as I slowly removed these layers, I, in turn, exposed true happiness. I let in pure joy. And I relit that fire I have always had for life.
It's not surprising that a trip like this would invigorate a person. I would assume most people who go on an adventure similar to mine would come back jazzed about life and excited in a new and different way. And while I do feel excited, I know that what I'm feeling isn't that superficial and on the surface. It's not just the high of all of the new experiences and people I met. What I'm feeling runs so much deeper. What this experience did for me I can feel in my core and in my bones.
This trip re-aligned me with myself.
I no longer feel so lost and directionless. And while parts of my life are still so unsettled and a mess, (read: my apartment is a disgrace) I surprisingly feel centered. There is a peace and a calmness I feel in my chest and in my heart. And I think all of that comes from finally accepting the values and vision I have for my life.
I have been fighting against myself for years, thinking that my goals and desires were simply lofty dreams that I was kidding myself with. I have been telling myself that I was just trying to avoid reality, and eventually, I would grow out of this, give up on my childish ideals, settle down, get with the program, and do the damn thing.
But what I learned, and what I have always known on some level, is that this isn't going away. You can't ignore who you are. Well, I mean, you can, and I did for a long time, but where did it get me?
I have (and we all have) a choice. I can either continue to ignore who I am, force myself into a life I don't really want, but is more recognizable and accepted. Or, I can finally accept that maybe who I am and what I want out of life is a little different from most people, and may be a little more difficult, and at times harder to understand, but it is what makes me happy and the most fulfilled.
This trip was a turning point. And now that I have had this experience, I can't allow myself to go back the way I came. And that is equal parts exciting and terrifying, because I know what is behind me. I am familiar with that life. What is in front of me, though? This is completely new and unfamiliar. But, instead of fighting it like I have for so many years, I now welcome the adventure of exploring it.
With Love From Philly,