I’ve been on this quest to discover who I am for quite some time.

I think it started with my move to Germany. There I was in a brand new country with absolutely nobody who knew anything about me. That type of situation is just ripe for a new start, to begin again and truly start learning what makes up a person.

In that time, I learned that I can be bold when I need to be. When put into a situation when I really needed to start making friends and meeting people, I practically invited myself to this restaurant/bar-hopping event that led me to this wonderful group of people I’m still so lucky to get to call friends. Similarly, I had to navigate through train stations and countries that I had never been in before, knowing almost nobody. I was going to meet friends in both Paris and Switzerland, but much of my time in France was spent by myself. I learned that I can figure out solutions to almost any problem, which is an incredible feeling after thinking for years that I was just some hopeless waste of a person.

During that year, I also really started to cultivate my love for the written word. I started journaling almost daily and began to realize that when I actually tried, I had just enough natural talent to make an impact on others with my writing. I got several very encouraging emails from friends I hadn’t personally seen in years, and that support meant everything.

When I moved back to Texas, things were a little different. Looking through last year though, I’ve learned a few more things about myself. I’ve learned that I’m resilient. Being around people who actually knew about my marriage and who learned about all the actions that lead up to the divorce helped me see that I’m much stronger than I give myself credit. I can defeat those monsters and still have the ability to continue believing there is more for me out there.

I’ve also been a lot more emotional this past year than in the several years prior. I used to think of emotions, especially expressing them, as a sign of weakness. Even in the last twelve months, I’ve been so embarrassed when crying in front of someone. As a very wise friend told me once, after I apologized to him for losing it during a very difficult night and bawling my eyes out, that it was a real moment and I should never be ashamed of that. I was in tune with my emotions and trusted him enough to show how I was actually feeling. Learning my emotions has also made it possible for me to read other people’s emotions easier as well, which in turn allows me to help them through an uncomfortable situation or just to provide comfort.

So here I am, a bold, impactful, resilient, sensitive, and introspective person. I’m proud of those adjectives. They aren’t words I would have ever used to describe myself a few years ago, but I’m trying to be more confident, to be more invested in learning to appreciate who I am. People constantly preach “love yourself!”, which has always seemed like a selfish act, but I’m realizing that nothing can truly fall into place, nobody can really see the person that you are, if you aren’t willing to do that for yourself.

I typically don’t address any readers in my posts, because I like to think of this as a way to just get all of my thoughts out on a page, but if you are reading this, I encourage you to really sit down and practice this: get out a piece of paper, think through any hardships you’ve had in the past few years, act like they happened to somebody else, and choose words to describe that person after they’ve made it through to the other side. We often encourage others far much more than we encourage ourselves. Try to encourage yourself. It works wonders.

Israeli West Bank barrier - March 2014
Israeli West Bank barrier – March 2014

listening to: Tame Impala

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