Be true to yourself
Hello my name is Chloe. I was born in Melbourne, Australia, although I have not lived there for almost 3 years. I have been living out of a backpack for 6 months. I am an outgoing introvert. I am travelling solo, yet I have not been alone for 1 day since I departed London some 6 months ago. I am suffocating.
After being kicked out of the only country that has ever felt like home, I jumped on a plane to South America some 6 months ago to lick my wounds and work out what my next life step would be. London was not just a city to me. It represented a time in my life where I felt like I belonged somewhere, no longer a round peg in a square hole and the emptiness that departure has left me with is one I was sure I could never fill again. When you have lived your life in a way where you were so wholeheartedly joyous every day – how on earth can you ever expect to match, let alone beat that? Nevertheless I chose to take the time to find just who Chloe is now and where she will go next. Hoping that surely at 27 my life had not just seen its one and only peak.
My gut told me that this was a journey I needed to take solo. However when the opportunity to travel with others arose, be it old friends or new I never had the strength to push for the solitude that I knew I so desperately needed. So instead of working hard on my personal goals and finding answers to the questions I so desperately needed answers to … I compromised myself. I took the easy route because there was a small part of me that wasn’t ready to stand up to the challenge of solo travel again and I let that side well and truly take over. Fast forward 6 months and while yes, I have seen some incredibly beautiful places and met some truly incredible people, I have not been true to myself in the one time of my life I really needed to have my own back. As I go into my 6th month of lack of solitude, I feel myself slowly suffocating and those unanswered questions are still hanging over my head. Consistently torn between the balance of being ‘free’ and outright wasting time.
It never ceases to amaze me how the feelings we have can manifest themselves within our body. We don’t simply wake up one day and know ‘what I need is space’ … that would be too easy! Instead for me, I spent months at a time being ill and in a mood I would describe as a consistent low grade bad mood. The minute the cause is acknowledge and resolved I no longer find myself weighed down by the aforementioned. With an improvement in my emotional health and actually meeting my emotional needs appears to come an equal improvement in my physical health and mood. Similarly when I start to forget about my emotional health, these ailments return. My body is literally telling me to be true to myself until it makes me so ill I have no choice but to do exactly as I am supposed to. And yes, I write this with my second episode of tonsillitis, whilst covered in bedbug bites (though I accept the bedbugs are just a case of unfortunate luck).
What I have realized is, is that though it can be easier to just melt into others and somewhat lose our identity… we have to fight to stay true ourselves. We always have to put ourselves and our needs first. We need to remind ourselves of who we are and what it is that we need to continue to fulfill ourselves in our lives because no one else can do this for us. We need to stay true to ourselves if we want to be fulfilled and happy. And know that this isn’t always necessarily the easiest path, but the path with the greatest reward.