“Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you were supposed to be?” -Danielle LaPorte
“And are either of those people who you really want to be?” -Alyx Michele (me), in response to above.
I can easily travel by myself, and I have been doing so, obviously. However, I have always found a way to occupy myself in order to avoid the self-reflections required to open and sort through the issues in my “mental box” that have been locked for many years. Whenever I would acknowledge the presence of the box, I become Brad Pitt in Se7en for a split second asking “Ah what’s in the box?” and just as quickly decide, “Nope, just kidding I don’t want to know right now.” And the box continues to exist ignored. Lot’s of things go in, but nothing comes out. Well, they need to. The box has needed to be dealt with for a long time in order for me to truly understand myself and become the person I want to be.
I spent all of college focusing on academics and the surface issues (residual effects of my parents’ divorce and body image issues mainly), rather than spending my time and energy chasing boys and what not. If I didn’t spend my time and energy on “me,” I would by no means be the same person writing this today. I can say that I am proud of the person I have become, and am excited to continue growing into the person I want to and CAN be. Life is a work in progress, how we see ourselves and the world is a work in progress, the world itself is a work in progress.
The only thing blocking me from the final frontier of progress is my avoidance of opening the Pandora’s Box of my past experiences and thoughts. Until a few days ago I was kind of freaking out about the fact that I will finally be processing all of this stuff now, but not anymore. After a few conversations with a friend (mainly her knocking sense into me haha), I wrote a list of the things I at least think are in the box so I know what things to start with during the processing and reflecting. The list wasn’t actually as long once I condensed it into themes, which were not surprising either. And all of the themes really just contribute to the question of what I really want for/out of one main aspect of life. Honestly, I feel that most of the work is already done, simply by that. I put the list away and will not be looking at it until I am on the train, and will continuously condense and cross things off as I go through and think about everything.
Thinking is good. It helps with the creative and learning processes with everything, but this time those exercises will be geared towards those pesky, shelved internal issues that have been put on the back-burner for so long. I have discussed before that I feel the best way to learn about one’s self, and the majority of my maturation and self-discovery process has occurred whilst traveling. And so the time has come. Just me, a few train rides, my thoughts, and random strangers (some of whom will most likely become lifelong connections).
After a long conversation with a dear friend, I feel much better about the situation. I think. We will see when the time comes. But as she said, “You’re the only one who can do it and address it and fix it. It is directly tied to how you feel about yourself and your life, so it will be what you make of it.” She is exactly right. I am going to find out a lot of information about who I am today, and how exactly my past experiences have affected me at various stages of my life.
When we receive information of any kind, there are two main choices: take action or ignore. I am choosing to take action: make any necessary adjustments, set reachable goals and achieve said goals. Ignoring problems does not make them disappear or easier to deal with. It just makes dealing with them that much harder if/when you decide to do so. But it will be much more worth your while to actually deal with them, otherwise the person you really want to and CAN be will never become a reality.
That being said, I am still very excited for this trip and look forward to seeing some friends and family I haven’t seen in a while, as well as witnessing some awesome landscapes. This will be a good trip and I will definitely be much closer to the person I want to be, as that always happens when I travel. I highly recommend others do this or something similar as well! 🙂
Well, I am on the first train now! Stay tuned for my writings on the food, scenery, interactions, and everything else!