I didn’t know what was in it for me.
It’s almost gonna be a year from now. The first time I decided to travel alone for 3 weeks. I didn’t know what was in it for me. I’ve always heard about traveling solo can change a person. How it helps you know yourself more or find out what you want in life. It basically finds meaning in whatever existential crisis you are going through. At least it felt that way for me. I had no idea what was in it for me.
I think you’ll always know when you’ve outgrown something. I was feeling stagnant in my home country. Somehow, being there felt very limiting. I’ve always been an outsider, always looking in. I tried to fit in, I tried to be a part of something. But it feels different. It doesn’t feel natural. It feels forced. I always felt like I had to keep up appearances and pretended to like things people expected me to like. My identity was created by other people according to their design and placed in front of me to be followed. It was like being put into a box. I have a reputation of being emotional, who feels too much and cries too much, for being so irrationally sensitive. But it felt like people associated me with that box and never really tried to get to know me beyond that. I hated it. Yes, I’ve learned hate is such a strong word and trust me, I know what I mean.
It took me some time to realize that I am not my loneliness. That being emotional and sensitive isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s not a weakness. I shouldn’t be pitied for wearing my heart on my sleeve. When I was completely alone for myself I came to embrace what I am and stopped caring about what people try to box me into.
The things that I wanted then weren’t the things I want now. As I try to live a life more custom-fitted for me, there are things I had to let go and unlearn. By changing my perspective on life, relationships, politics, and other things, I am slowly practicing aligning my actions with these new preferences so I could feel more comfortable in my own skin. Making intentional choices, right or wrong and consistently challenging my principles and bodies of knowledge while growing on an experiential level. I’m just embracing this evolution of becoming a multi-dimensional, fully rounded person and hopefully, feeling a sense of “completeness” on my own.
I’ve made a home somewhere and I can always come back to this. Chiang Mai has been so close to my heart, not because of how beautiful this place is. But the significant role it plays on me growing up and embracing myself despite every defiance.