WHO ARE YOU?
“Beauty begins the second you decide to be yourself” Coco Chanel
There is a cliche statement about traveling, about how traveling changes you…however, the shitty and incredible part of this cliche, is that it is true.
I feel changed somehow, like I have experienced and seen the world through a new lense that I can’t fully explain through words. I remember this feeling after knee surgery and losing feeling in my left leg
a year and a half prior — how losing my ability to walk for a period of time, changed me somehow. Not only did I lose the ability to walk, I lost everything that I believed defined who I was at the time — my career, my home in Walnut Creek, my view of myself as a fit, active individual, and my role as a girlfriend. The incredible part of this? I got to discover who I was without all the things that had previously defined me…and it made walking away from life as I knew it a second time, this time to go travel, so much easier.
Rebecca Cambell, one of my favorite authors, talks about how our instant response to the question “Who am I?” is usually our name, age, sex, occupation, where we were born where we live, relationship status…
But really, who are you?
Those things listed above are what we do, titles, and boxes we fit ourselves into. It’s interesting to have these things taken away, because in reality, we are so much more than that. There are parts beyond the boxes that we have put ourselves in that long to be expressed, and when we pull back the layers, we can begin to see our true essence.
How does this relate to you, and travel in general? Travel allows the unfolding to begin, it allows people to experience you in the moment, and see you fully for the first time. Travel provides a foundation for newness, openness and moment to moment living called “presence.” Who you are, your true nature, is always with you, it just comes to life more when you give yourself the freedom to express yourself and come out of those pre-packaged boxes that you show the world. Before my knee surgery and travel, I was a 24 year old Behavioral Therapist, graduate of UC Davis. After my injury, becoming a yoga teacher, and traveling?
Spontaneity. I am Kate. I am here. I am here to light up other people. I am art. I am creative, a risk taker, a yogi, a writer, a lover, a motivator. I am change. Feel the difference?
WHO ARE YOU? You don't need a traumatic life event to happen to you or travel in order to become curious about you, just know you are not your job or your partner, I promise.
Even with this knowledge, my biggest struggle since coming back to the states is allowing others to see me for who I am, and not where I am going, and what I have accomplished, or who I used to be, but rather — who I am in this moment. Some will reject me, and it is a risk I am willing to take. I am currently living a gypsy lifestyle, constantly on the move, and I am okay with that. I sometimes want to hide in my old self, stable career, relationship person self, just so my connections with old friends still work, in the way they see me...but growth comes with expansion, and I am DAMN PROUD of who I am now. Messy, adventurous, figuring it out me is okay not fitting into the boxes of my old lifestyle. And I am enough. And I encourage you to be enough for you, too. Sometimes all it takes is that first initial leap.
Take the plunge.
Dive right in.
Into your wholeness.
Contradictions, imperfections, oddness, fabulousness and all.
In doing so, sure you may find that you don't quite fit in, but that's just because in stepping into your bigness you might just need a little more room. (Rebecca Cambell)
And maybe travel didn't change me...maybe the people who I connected with along the way just gave permission for me to unravel who I was all along.