Who am I? What is my purpose? What am I truly capable of? We all ask ourselves this to reach our full potential. Travel IS part of the answer but you’re missing out on another part completely. Until today.
She who knows others is wise. She who knows herself is enlightened
I’m back home in the UK taking some time out from travels to focus. I’m here to rejuvenate, reflect and work work work. 7 hours earlier today, I’m happily holding a cup of Earl Grey in one hand and a mustard-smothered ham sandwich in the other. Simple pleasures. Every time I return home, setting off my taste buds stimulates the rest of my senses, confirming I’m back in England.
My Mum’s beaming face is distantly looking out of the kitchen window. We don’t see each other very much. These weeks are priceless. A thought pops into her mind. Her lips’ are quickly cranking up a gear and her eyes joyfully squinting together as she begins to recall my movements, the first day I was born.
[bctt tweet=”She who knows others is wise. She who knows herself is enlightened #travel #ThisIsMe” username=”teacaketravels”]
I’ve seen this photo capturing this moment before. I’ve just never thought to ask or go beyond what is in that single frame; to unravel the movement behind my unusual position at my prime age of just 3 hours old.
‘It was the most peculiar thing. Your fingers were dancing in a set pattern, slowly and gracefully waving through the air, interacting with the energy around you. You appeared so set and confident in how you moved your hands from one place to the next. You knew what you were doing. Of course you’re a pianist’.
I’m A What?
What Do You Actually Know About Yourself?
Who you are may not lie in your future but in your past. This is about the real you. The you that you were born with. I know that I’m strong, passionate, honest, bold, forthright and positive. I believe in love, beauty, strength, breaking down stereotypes and celebrating my power as a woman. Travel gave me a ton of this understanding and conviction but looking back to my past, it was already there.
Apparently, I’m a pianist too. I forgot. I played piano for 13 years straight until I got into bad boys, punk parties, cheap french beer, burlesque and playing drum kits (I played drums for 18 years!). Here’s the proof (thanks Mum).
Oh and here’s the other proof (the goth/punk party bit)…
Don’t Forget Where You Came From
What Else Are You Forgetting About Yourself?
A photo can burst with electrifying colour and emotion, spewing a tangle of information at you that’s open to being discovered. The visuals. The sounds. Imagining what’s behind the characters captured in that scene at that moment in time. Hot damn. Photographs of your past are the secret to you.
How To Find Myself (The Answer Is In A Box)
I’m getting right in there. I’ve got the ladder out. I’m climbing up those creaky, paint-splashed, scratchy steps on this rickety contraption to get my head into the loft and under that couple centimetres of dust to remember who I really am. I’ve blown the debris off the cardboard box. Inside that box #ThisIsMe
I AM An Adventurer (As Well As A Pianist)
I was never fully happy at home. I had a great childhood but there was stress involved with my parents not really liking each other (and telling me…the only child…all about it).
My Dad once told me he regretted not emigrating to Australia when his mates pulled out last minute. My Mum has never really pushed herself to her full potential due to a very difficult childhood she had herself. Being married, stuck in one place, discontent with your situation, is my idea of hell (but in my parents’ defence, they have got so much better with themselves over the years).
As soon as University became an option, I left. It took me another 6 years to muster up the guts to quit my job as a psychologist and take a flight to South Korea in 2010 to teach English abroad. I’ve never looked back and have travelled ever since.
My parents question where I’m really from. Rumour has it that there was a world famous travelling magician in our family who used to have one of the biggest collections of exotic birds with him. I can only assume (hope) that I got a drop of his blood.
Regardless, the adventure in me was always there. I’m glad I finally listened to it and did what was right.
Are you an adventurer at heart? If you haven’t left yet, you need to pack your bags and go. Not sure? Here’s 10 reasons why you need to leave home and travel now.
I Have Drive And Don’t Care What Others Think
I was a bit of a loon. Jumping about like a kid who had had too many E numbers from the sweet shop with their 50p pocket money. I was full to the brim with enthusiasm and still am. One thing stands out clear to me though: How I look at the camera in every photo completely impresses me. What happened to that?! I have confidence in myself, who I am and what I am capable of.
There’s A Point Where You’ll Lose A Sense Of Who You Are
Most likely when you’re a teenager and that childhood innocence starts to disappear. I became really uncomfortable.
I didn’t like having my picture taken. To this day, I’m embarrassed to say that I HATE having my photo taken. I love myself but in front of a camera I’m like ‘%$#@$…look cool, look cool, oh f&%k this isn’t cool’.
I’m working on it.
You Still Might Be Lost
The problem is that you might just not lose yourself in your teenage years. You might go through adulthood feeling disorientated too. You need to pause, think and be truthful with yourself. Who are you? What do you like? What do you need? The answer might just be in your old photos. Take a long hard look then do everything within your power to make things right for you.
Travel not to find yourself but to remember who you’ve been all along
Did it really get to this to see how to find myself? A box of photographs?
Pretty much. I’ve ventured into lands and situations that my taste buds and senses have no previous experience with: there’s no mustard-smothered ham sandwiches there. What is there is an invaluable worldwide education about who people are, what I am and what we can be.
Was all of this travel worth it to know how to find myself?
Absolutely. I couldn’t have got to this point without travel. Yet, travel not to find yourself but to remember who you’ve been all along. Unearthing these childhood memories will show you what is under all that ‘adulting’ you’ve been doing and the foundations of your soul.
[bctt tweet=”Travel not to find yourself but to remember who you’ve been all along #travel #ThisIsMe” username=”teacaketravels”]
There’s Always Room For Improvement
You’re always going to look back and think, ‘What the hell was I wearing that for?’ and ‘God, who thought that hairstyle was cool?’ I mean, just look at my Spice Girls 90’s get up in this shot. It’s so terrible it’s great. Regardless of the fashion, look at your photographs as a reminder that you’re constantly on a path to a better you. Keep working on yourself. You’ll find it.
How to find myself?
Don’t Be Afraid Of Your Fears
Whatever you’ve been up to, the point of living is to wake up everyday to be a better person for yourself, other people and the world. Don’t be afraid of your fears, they’re not there to scare you; they’re there to let you know that something is worth it. Look at where you’ve come from, what your values are and keep working on being extra awesome today.
Do this, then your life purpose and what you’re capable of is right there for the taking.
[bctt tweet=”Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re there to tell you something is worth it #travel #ThisIsMe” username=”teacaketravels”]
What can your photos teach you about yourself?
Share A Photo With Me!
Dig into your photo album right now and take a look at yourself from the past. What does it show you about yourself that you’ve forgotten about? What can you learn from your past? Remember what you’re capable of!