Musings of a Recovering Extrovert
I started this full time RV life with dreams of seeing beautiful places and living my life to the fullest. With my favorite person in the whole world and my two precious yorkies by my side, I have not been disappointed and I've learned a few things about myself along the way.
I am in awe of the beauty of our world and I'm grateful every day for the opportunity to notice and appreciate it - even on days where we're cooped up in the camper. We've seen so many beautiful places since we left our Texas home in winter of 2018 and I really want to share our experiences with the world. Better late than never, right?
Unfortunately, I'm not much of a writer and I had to battle quite a bit of mind monkeys to get to a point where I felt I could put something like a blog post out there. There was this feeling of not being deserving of the blessings I was receiving, the guilt of leaving my friends and family behind, and a fair share of worrying about what others thought of me and trying to walk on eggshells to keep everyone I know from hating me out of envy.... all that along side a Texas-sized helping of impostor syndrome. I'm here now to tell you that although I still have all this in the back of my mind, this initial blog post is a step toward conquering fears and becoming the person I want to be. I've got to stop worrying about what other people think and just enjoy my life. I'm reminded of a quote by Dita Von Teese.
“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”
Leaving everything I've ever known behind and going on the road has been therapeutic and in so many more ways than I could have imagined. Here's a little info about me for new friends that don't know me yet... I'm a graphic designer by trade and by night I am an entertainer. I'm a burlesque dancer, singer, and musician. I went from sharing all these parts of myself with people, to not gigging at all - for a whole year. It has felt like a lifetime to be honest. All these things are a core part of my life force and who I am. They have mattered more to me than damn near anything. Not having lunch dates with my girlfriends has made me feel pretty disconnected from my home tribe, too. Identifying as an extrovert my whole life, life on the road has enabled me to learn an inner truth that has really changed the way I see myself and how I choose to spend my solitude: I actually do need time to reflect, reset, and grow as an individual. This slower pace of life is a real eye opener! It has forced me to sit with the darkest parts of myself and actually work on my own becoming. Figuring things out on my own instead of relying on insights from others has also been invaluable. Never underestimate what some good old fashioned daydreaming can do for your soul, y'all. No one else is uniquely you and some things you got to figure out on your own. They can't be found online, in a book, or even from your most intimate coffee dates with friends - although those do have their place. It's up to me.
I realized that I can not depend on other people to lift me up. I am the only person who can truly fill my gas tank. Everything outside of me is just a temporary fix. There was a point last fall that I had gotten quite home sick and I kept telling myself to just keep my chin up because I could see all my friends and book a few gigs to fill up my soul's gas tank for the next year once I make it back to Texas...This is the worst advice I could have given myself. Hindsight is always 20/20. The COVID-19 Apocalypse/social shutdown was the final gut punch to make me aware of this truth. As soon as we arrived back home in the spring, everything was shut down and we were all told to quarantine for the foreseeable future. You can imagine the roller coaster of emotions that came over me. All my gigs I had lined up were canceled just days before my performances (I had been preparing for them for weeks) and I couldn't see any of my friends. I was heartbroken. I guess the lesson I had thought I had come to understand over the past year hadn't actually been learned yet...I needed to be forced to embrace my new lifestyle fully. I can not count on anything back home to bring me happiness. I love what I do but I can't let others approval of what I create carry so much weight when it comes to my happiness.
So I've been doing a ton of soul searching since we left home (this quarantine has been an inspiring final push in the right direction) and I am ready to start achieving some of my long lost dreams and fill my soul up to the brim - and keep it that way. For example, I've always wanted to write my own music and get better at playing guitar (my brother is a bad ass at both of these things - it's pretty inspiring), but until this shift in my circumstances and perspective happened, I was just rolling with the flow of my life and I never made the time to pursue this dream. Going to gigs, preparing a new dance number, hanging out with friends, going to parties, drunk karaoke the night away, among other purely extroverted activities was how I spent my spare time. Although, I miss these things, in their absence I have discovered a new way of being that also feels good to me and I want to sink deeper into it. I knew I was going to be getting physical space from my life back home, but I never expected to have this much mental space room for inner growth. Without the distractions of my previous life, I have this new capacity and I can finally express myself in ways I only dreamed I could....quite frankly in ways I thought I never could or never gave myself permission to do because of the fear of being too vulnerable to create something so personal (shout out to all the fellow Capricorns out there - you probably get this lol). The fear of looking "bad" is absolutely disabling and I must push through this to see what's on the other side. I know I will love myself more for it.
That's it. I did it. I wrote my first blog post (baby steps). It didn't end up being about what I had planned. It was scary. It was kinda deep. It was definitely vulnerable and it was a good start. Not sure what I'll write about next or when but let's all keep shining our light into the world.