I think it’s fair to say at this juncture that moving to the other side of the world, where you know no one save some friends of friends or people you’ve only talked to online, is one way to really figure out who you are.
I talked a lot during last year’s summer of change about paring yourself down to the bare essentials to see what you’re made of and what, at the end of the day, makes you you. Not all the crap you do to impress or distract other people or hide from what scares you, but the real kernels of your being.
I feel like this is Step 2 of that growth process. I began shedding some layers of dead skin those nine months ago, and the molting continues. I guess more than anything, I’m proud that in a place where I’ve had to restart my social circle from scratch, I’ve done little to try to impress anyone I’ve met. In fact, I’ve been pretty unabashedly Lauren, even when it doesn’t paint me in the best light (I’m going to start a running tally of all the things I’ve broken, stained or screwed up somehow since I got here, my fairly new laptop and even newer iPod being two of them).
Maybe it’s because I realize that this is it. This is the opportunity I’ve been envisioning for years, and I can’t go and screw it up by being someone I’m not. If I can’t be me and live life the way I want to here, even if it’s not how other people in my situation would do it, then I’ve got some problems on my plate.
If travel, expatriation or whatever you want to call it is supposed to show you who you are, maybe it’s also supposed to reinforce, once and for all, who you’re not.