On the eve of my long awaited solo vacation I got a little misty. Yes, I realize I frequently get misty and if you didn’t know by now that I’m a huge sap, well, ya’ll better ask somebody.
All week long people have been asking me if I’m excited. I am, truly. But there’s been something holding me back from sheer glee and I haven’t exactly figured out what it is. Sure, I’m a little nervous about visiting places where my barely passable French might be used; but like I said, it’s more than just that.
This trip has meant something since the start. I knew I wanted to take a trip outside the U.S. and I wanted to go by myself. I hadn’t been able to really pin down why until today. I found myself watching the “Holocene” video again (as I’ve done eleventy billion other times) and crying (like I’ve done eleventy billion other times).
There is a sense of peace in this video. Freedom and exploration are written on that kid’s face. Like you could just go to where he is and breathe. Breathe in and out and just KNOW who you are.
BON IVER “Holocene” from nabil elderkin on Vimeo.
I realized today this trip is the culmination of a journey I’ve been on for years now. A journey that has had heartbreak, nervous breakdowns, surgeries and countless other things. I’ve been on a journey to redefine myself. To stop beating myself up for not being who I thought at twenty who I was supposed to be. To trust myself and find a new me. To redefine the image and scope of my adult life.
I’d been wanting this trip to be a representative of something I was unsure of. I realized it today. This trip is about MY Common Era. This trip is a shift in the tectonic plates of my life; a demarcation of the behind and of the ahead.
I look behind me to see fear, unhappiness, doubt and hurt. I look ahead to see who I am, not just who I wanted to be. I’ve never known how to combine the two. I look forward to see someone I care for. But it’s someone who I will never care more about than myself, and that’s good. I see a life where genuine happiness is possible. Where I can have all the things I need and know how to work to get what I want.
I plan to leave as much as I can of that old life in Europe. Leave coils of my scarred & battle tested former self. I’m pretty sure they won’t mind.
I’m not saying everything will be perfect and rose colored from here on out. In fact, I’m hoping it isn’t. Because now I know how to handle it. I had an old set of armor, all dinged & pockmarked because I’d been wearing it for so damn long. I’ve a shiny new set now. I choose now when to wear it. And it’s far superior to that heavy, awful set.
And so, off I go to find myself. Though “finding” makes it sound as though I have been lost.
Really, it’s losing my old self so that the found me can take its place.