From the archives: August, 2015
Last week for Show and Tell, I was brainstorming ways to share about my trip without making my friends sit through a Power Point presentation or smile and nod while I laughed at my own rambling stories about late nights in Thailand or transportation mishaps in Cambodia.
I started journaling key takeaways, or things I learned. These were mostly very cliche (it's funny how solo traveling yields similar anecdotes or "life lessons" from most people I've talked to, yet they feel so incredibly personal when they're your own).
One of the things I wrote down without much thought was "I am brave."
Bravery to me has always been manifested in the forms of skydiving, bungee jumping, or serving in the military. I've never done any of those things and over the course of 27 years, have very few (read: zero) stories that would make anyone stop in their tracks from a second-hand adrenaline rush.
But as with most things, bravery is relative. I have some friends who look at my trip and reply with, "why'd you only do two months?" while others are aghast that I would even have the desire to travel by myself. What I've realized is it doesn't matter. For me, my trip was stepping out of my comfort zone. My trip made ME feel braver, more independent, and stronger than I've probably ever felt.
So for Show and Tell we talked about labels. Labels given to us long ago by our siblings (mine would certainly be 'bossy') that we can't quite shake. Labels we give to ourselves after a bad experience or an ended relationship. But these labels are constantly changing, and it's so important to acknowledge that. To stay in tune with who we are today without saying "I can't" or "I'm not like that" before actually considering the idea or proposal.
After journaling about this, I found a line in Go Set a Watchman (so disappointing, but more on that some other day) that resonated with this idea. Scout's Uncle Jack tells her, "'Remember this also: it's always easy to see what we were, yesterday, ten years ago. It is hard to see what we are. If you can master that trick, you'll get along.'"
So maybe ten years ago I was bossy and right now I'm brave. It's exciting to think about what I can be next.