As we embark upon the new roaring 20s, I can’t ignore the fact that the last 10 years were the most pivotal years of my life. I can say with certain honesty that I am not the same person I was on December 31, 2009. A lot has changed, but mostly, I have grown up a lot and truly figured out who I am and who I want to be. The next decade promises quite a few more monumental changes, but I can’t anticipate any of that will change the core of who I am like the last 10 years have. And so, a timeline.
People have asked me quite a bit lately, “So, why China?,” and I always give them the same answer – I saw a good deal and figured why not. And while that’s true, it’s not the real reason I decided to take a completely random trip to China.
Each time I feel knocked down, the wind taken out of me, when all I want to do is curl in a ball and never get back up, I have to remember, this is part of the journey. The journey to finding myself. And it may take a lifetime.
How is that, even though I’ve experienced some of the happiest days of my life this year, all I seem to hang on to are the saddest days? Anyone who knows me knows that I am an optimistic person – I always find the silver lining. I always find the lesson, and find a way to move on. And I’ve done this through far, far worse years, so feeling stuck like this just makes me more upset, because I seem to have lost control over my own healing process.
I’ve let myself become small. I’ve let myself get wrapped up by other people, not just this last time, but every time. I tolerate things that I would never tolerate in other situations. I don’t stand up for or advocate for myself that way I constantly advise others to. I’ve let this fear of being alone take over my life, and in a way, forget who I am.
Here’s the thing with travel. If you can physically and financially do it, go. Don’t wait for the time to be right or to take care of this or that at home first. Take the plunge and go.
Basically, we all have a bucket and a dipper. The dipper can fill a bucket or empty a bucket, based on our words and actions. Some people have big buckets and some people have small buckets.
These posts have been slightly depressing, but they’re not meant to be. This trip was amazing – what I have learned may have come out of the less fun parts of the trip, but that’s usually how we learn.
Traveling all over Australia and New Zealand in just over 3 weeks by myself is not a vacation. It was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting, and when I say I’ve learned things, I mean I’ve learned things about myself and travel and things that go much deeper than packing tips (although I certainly have some of those).
Look closer. Ask questions. Be present. Be inspired – but don’t be jealous – and know that we’re all in this together, and it’ll be way easier to get through life if we’re there for each other and not just curating a life behind a screen.
Right now, I’m sitting on an airplane, three hours and forty-seven minutes into a nine and half hour flight from Honolulu to Brisbane. A place I never would have been if not for the impact that London had on who I am.