(This post was originally published on The Freedom Experiment, an inspiring blog by a creative, beautiful, sensitive woman who shares her life struggles and triumphs to help others feel less alone. Give The Freedom Experiment a read, it just might change your day.)
I’m sitting in bed in my bungalow in Bali, alone.
The sun is shining and the turquoise sea just beyond my porch glitters beneath a cliff backed golden sand bay.
I am unbelievably blessed to be here, on possibly the most coveted island in the world, with no attachments or responsibilities, and the freedom to do anything that I want.
But what I want to do is hide under my covers and cry.
I have no return ticket home, no home to return to, and I spent the last of my savings to leave Cambodia and come to Bali to reunite with the first man I allowed myself to be vulnerable with in years.
He leaves in three hours for another continent, but mentally and emotionally he was never even here.
My disappointment is palpable.
I feel foolish for straying from my plan to see him one last time.
I question if I made a mistake in finally letting my guard down.
I worry that my lifestyle leads me to men laden with limits.
In this scenario where everything that surrounds me is foreign
emotionally it feels painfully familiar.
Resisting releasing something I already know I don’t want in my life.
Seeking fulfillment for my needs from someone else instead of empowering myself.
Accepting less than what I deserve because something seems like a better offer than nothing.
Occupying my mind so entirely with another person that I become distracted from who Iam and what I want.
after two years of traveling the world on my own
hiking through the South American jungle
sailing to deserted islands in Southeast Asia
riding on rickety buses across Nicaragua, Panama, Cambodia, and Morocco
taking countless cold showers
communicating in foreign languages
and sleeping in dorm rooms with complete strangers
am I back to being the girl who bases her confidence on how much attention she gets from a guy?
Haven’t I grown beyond this?
Are you ever
where I am now?
Back in a place you thought you outgrew?
Re-enacting the patterns of your past?
Being the person you swore you would never be again?
how did I get back here?
if you were actually
if you were just coasting
until a difficult moment
how flawed and broken
you still are?
that you will never
that you didn’t
Right now, my mind is cluttered with these ideas.
But the healthy, happy me
buried beneath the insecurity and the fear
that those negative, destructive thoughts
Because growing up doesn’t mean always being your “best” self.
It doesn’t mean never being sad, angry, imbalanced, lost, insecure, or what some people might even call “crazy.”
It doesn’t mean being protected by an ego that the cruelest words can’t crush.
It doesn’t mean having all of the answers
and it certainly doesn’t mean never making mistakes.
Growing up means gaining the awareness
what makes you feel good
It means shifting
your self talk
to a dialogue
that makes you feel
It means accepting
that you cannot control the way that others treat you
but you can absolutely control
the way that you treat yourself.
It means recognizing
experiencing the darkness
that one day
you will feel light.
It means empowering
with the responsibility
to choose happiness
whether that means
being patient in discomfort
or making a move
changes your life.
It means having
and the courage
to let go.
So right now
I am quieting my inner judgments
and I am amplifying my voice that says:
Hang in there babe
you are strong.
Believe in your dreams
they are inevitable.
Everything will be ok
because everything is already ok.
You are worth mountains and oceans
no matter how others treat you
or how small you feel.
Where you are today is perfect
because it is where you need to be
to get to tomorrow.
In honor of the person I am today
I am getting out of bed
I am walking down to the sea
and I am watching the dramatic progression of the sunset
Wherever you are
on your journey
in a moment of glittering bliss
in a moment of deep dark pain
on the brief, vast, varying spans between
it’s all just part
of growing up.