On belonging and wandering and wildness…

“She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and no city.” – Roman Payne

I have been known to wax lyrical on occasion. Anyone who has ever spent even the smallest amount of time with me will have experienced my ramblings. My most recent rambling was last weekend – and to the recipient of the ramble, I am truly sorry if you were looking for an exit! Said ramble centred around the above quote and my (and my friends) complete affinity with it.

Now, this little corner of the internet is often my place to focus such ramblings – and so, I share it now with you all. NB: At least you guys get to choose if you hear it or not!

I have not always been this content in myself. For a long time, contentment wasn’t even a blip on the horizon. I was insecure – insecure with who I was, what kind of friend I was, who I was to my family, and what I saw in the mirror. Uncertainty was my default and insecurity was my hiding place. I almost used insecurity and anxiety as a shield – a way of hiding who I was.

It takes certain life experiences, and certain risks and madness, to bring you to the moments of clarity that are needed to make you put that shield down. The irony is, some of those experiences put down the shield and replace it with a wall. I can’t pretend I didn’t do that. I did. I built that big bubble around me – not letting myself away with anything or letting anyone else in.

It took a long time for the wall to come down, and one of the ways it did was a bit of self-realisation.

My life is not meant to be lived in one place.

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Through many years of travel and wandering and adventure, I have become so much more myself than I ever have been. Every adventure I have, every place I go, every new person I meet, I am becoming more and more me.

Going out there on your own is terrifying. You are told that you can’t do it. You are asked to stay. You are told it’s too dangerous. You are told you are not enough.

“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.”
Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

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And yet, going out there on your own teaches you that you are far stronger than anyone would ever know. It teaches you that you are worthy of your room on this earth and you are braver than you ever thought.

I have lived 32 crazy years on this earth. I have had my heartbroken. I have experienced unspeakable loss. I have been scarred and watched them heal. I have repaired my broken soul and heart. I have also experienced highs I can’t describe. I have taken risks that were worth it all. I have been to the valley and to the mountaintop. img_9884

Every experience so far in my life culminates in the person I am – and if you take the time to talk to me, you will very quickly discover that I am entirely happy with that.

There’s an element of wildness in being completely you – unapologetically you. I am not quite there yet, but I know I am getting there.

I am finding peace in the person I am. As long as I continue to be inherently a good person, I will never apologise for it because I am the culmination of my experiences, my heartaches, my breakdowns, my triumphs, and my joys.

I do not know what the future holds for me, where I will be in a year, 2, 5 or 10. And yet, I am content in not knowing. In letting it be.

And thus ends this ramble….

“How wild it was, to let it be.”
Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

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