grub + travels + perspectives

29 and Grateful

“I always feel as if I'm struggling to become someone else. As if I'm trying to find a new place, grab hold of a new life, a new personality. I suppose it's part of growing up, yet it's also an attempt to re-invent myself. By becoming a different me, I could free myself of everything. I seriously believed I could escape myself -- as long as I made the effort. But I always hit a dead end. No matter where I go, I still end up me. What's missing never changes. The scenery may change, but I'm still the same old incomplete person. The same missing elements torture me with a hunger that I can never satisfy. I think that lack itself is as close as I'll come to defining myself.”

About 2 years ago, this is exactly how I felt about myself. I was confined inside a box -- but then I never really felt 'stuck' because I believed that in that box was where I'm supposed to be and I was scared to be anywhere but there. I never yearned for more because I was contented. It was safe there. Then things took a turn and I was suddenly displaced and found myself nowhere near my comfort zone. I guess abrupt and big changes can really skew your perspectives in life. I just reread my birthday entry last 2013 and boy, was I the most sullen person ranting about life. Hahaha.

I had a point though in that post. Indeed, problems do not get magically solved when your birthday arrives, but I've learned that it's a matter of how you view things. Fast forward to today, even though the problems and the struggles will be always there, I am in deep gratitude for everything that happened and changed since that day. A lot of great things happened to me in 2 years. I constantly ask myself daily, "Is today the best version of yourself?" and to be frank, I still don't know the answer. I guess it's the ultimate relative question you could ask yourself. Hahaha. I've been to so many places, met a battalion of new people, tried new things and had so many adventures with my friends, I can't see my old self in me anymore. It's like I was standing in the middle of this flurry of newness and I try to absorb as much as I can. It was happening all at once, and I loved it, and I lived for it. If my old self met me today, she would not believe the stories I would tell her.

And yet when all is said and done, here I am. In hindsight, I realized that I am still me. I look at myself and I still get a glimpse of that girl two years ago. The truth is she's still here, she's at the core and it's not so bad after all. The whole ordeal of reinventing myself and living the best way I can changed how I look at and approach situations but it's good to know that though life offered me an abundance, I've never fully lost myself in the process. So I don't envision that Murakami quote as something negative. After the hustle and bustle of the putting yourself out theres and try something news and live for the moments, there's this dinky satisfaction you find once again in being on your own. I feel contentment because I was finally able to carry out different feats. It may not speak volumes for you, but for me, it's more than I could dream of. But at the same time, the part of me that feels incomplete is the part that would always yearn for more adventures, more from this life, more self-challenges. That little space would always remind me that I can do heaps and heaps more and that the best is yet to come.

Twenty nine. Most days, as a woman, *side glance* it feels like the end of the line. I'm entering a new decade in my life next year. But then a new decade just means time for a mountain of new adventures, right?

Bring it on! I've never felt more ready.