The Girl I Used to Be

The girl I used to be wasn’t good for me. She wanted to be, she knew change was necessary for growth but for years she didn’t see her own worth. She could see what she was capable of but it always seemed too far out of reach, and every time she failed on the road to perfection she felt tempted to give up. She wanted to treat herself better but she didn’t know where to start.

So instead, she lived in a haze of negative self talk and limiting beliefs. She kept occasionally poor company because she failed to realize that who you surround yourself with is who you become. She did everything to excess but the greatest contradiction of them all is that more than anything, she craved balance- yet the only balance she knew was the constant pull of swinging between highs and lows… and searching for balance in extremes almost drove her to madness.

But balance doesn’t come from the external, it comes from the internal and all that tireless searching for something outside to fill the inside wasn’t ever going to be enough… And as she clawed onto life hoping that the universe would show her the way, she ignored all the signs because they weren’t the answers she was searching for.

She was happy “enough” and life looked “good enough” right? So who was she to struggle with such “weakness”? She thought she was weak because admitting powerlessness was opening up to judgement and she wasn’t ready to step into the work that comes with self awareness.

So she kept her gaze outwards, afraid of what she would find if she went in. She chased degrading sexual experiences not knowing her own power, not realizing that who you merge with sexually affects your mental health and your vibration. She let her demons out and claimed them as her own with pride because she thought that was who she was, and when the shame came she buried them down and judged herself. She didn’t know how to hold herself gently because sex and the body had always been an unhealed part of her, so she disconnected sex and emotion, once again, not wanting to look inwards.

She didn’t know how to say “no” and she didn’t know how to protect herself energetically so she gave everyone access to her and they slowly ripped her apart while she continued to hope that eventually, they would fill her back up. She gave, and gave, and gave… And her intuition had been telling her the whole time, had been trying to show her the path, but she wasn’t in a space of deep listening. She didn’t know how to connect to herself or that the journey to self love started by recognizing the ways in which her current coping mechanisms had failed her.

She was too scared to acknowledge what her intuition had always known- that there was another way. So she chased new experiences looking for validation and distraction still…

Until one day, at the point of physical, mental and spiritual exhaustion, she broke open and it ALL.CAME.OUT… and she couldn’t minimize it any longer. The only way out was through and she knew with heartbreaking clarity that the journey back to herself was about to be the most important one of her life. She realized that she had to fill herself up, and that whatever she was doing wasn’t working and wasn’t serving her; that she had to allow it all to break open so that what wasn’t meant to stay could fall away.

It was TERRIFYING. But the scariest thing of all was to continue down the path that she was on, expecting a different result without changing the action. She decided that no one else could save her and she refused to believe that she was a victim to her life. She started to put the pieces back together herself by loving the hurt and unhealed parts. She started with the small moments of gratitude. She searched for a community and started asking herself what felt good. She adjusted her self talk and analyzed her self worth and slowly the light started to come.

See, the girl I used to be wasn’t good for me. But I love that girl now and I honor her by sharing this story- because finding my voice started here. As I move into the woman I am now and the one I’m becoming I cannot forget where I came from because I have to acknowledge the road that got me here. Awakening isn’t pretty, it’s messy.

smoke screens and mirrors.

i was wandering through the streets of little India in Penang, Malaysia. carrying all this pent up uneasy energy with me…

energy i’d been carrying around since getting back from Hawaii a few weeks before. Hawaii had already faded out of my immediate memory, it felt surreal, almost as if it never happened, like a dream. i jumped into my Hawaiian holiday and that 2 weeks in time on another island and jumped right back out and straight into the life i now live in Thailand without so much as a blink of an eye. but somehow i was still carrying the positive energy from my trip with me, and because nothing had changed except me when i got back to Thailand i was finding it hard to deal with the crossover of energy. i couldn’t figure out where to channel it and how to use it. 

as i walked through the streets my senses opened up. i could smell the sandalwood smell of incents, the bubbling of tikka masala and garlic naan bread, and i could hear the chiming of the anklet bells so many of the Indian women wear. in a daze i spent a few hours wandering around. low on money i wasn’t shopping, i was just absorbing, almost on auto pilot. taking the time to breathe and relax. 

i stopped and talked to a white Western man about Indian spirituality for about 10 minutes. he gave me all this great energy, a free book, a bindi for my head… and as i walked away he grabbed my hand and told me to trust myself. he told me that everything was falling into place. 

the next day i woke up early and walked down the stairs of the hostel and was greeted by this old Chinese man who i see every 3 months. he has to be just the greatest old dude- big smile on his face always. remembers me by name for about 8 months now, and always makes you feel like you’re the most important person in the world. sometimes a little hard to understand, but his smile tells you how genuine he is. as i ran out to grab my usual cream cheese bagel from the shop around the corner, he asked me where i was heading. i told him i wanted to get my fortune read in Little India today. he looked me in the eye and said, “walk across the street to the Chinese temple and when you get inside the doors go to the left and look for a series of boxes along the wall. they will be numbered 1-30, choose your favorite number and grab the piece of paper inside the box. bring it back to me and i will read your fortune for you”. 

i did as Charlie said, well, because Charlie’s a smart man. it rained hard as i put up the hood on my raincoat and marched confidently across the street. i walked inside the temple and chose my 19 and went back to him. since it was in Chinese he read it first out loud then translated it for me. he said, “whatever you want to do right now, do it. now is your time. you will have good luck. whatever you have been questioning right now, it’s the time to act on i. don’t doubt yourself”. 

i thanked him and marched back into the rain with a smile on my face back towards Little India. i found an old man at the astrologist booth and told him my birth stone, emerald green. i then chose an emerald that appealed to me out of a silk bag. he thought for a few minutes and then said, “you are feeling a new kind of change coming on and you must listen to yourself more now. many feelings and emotions you are having are causing you to doubt yourself. don’t”.

as i walked back into the rain i exhaled gratitude and i inhaled understanding, love and confidence. later that evening when i had picked up my visa and was supposed to head towards the airport i found myself with my pack on, checked out, wandering around chatting with people. a nice Indian man offered to give me a free ride to the airport so i didn’t have to pay. being short on money this is what i was looking for. now, i didn’t realize at the time how absolutely eccentric Durai was. Durai, is his name by the way. by the time i had left the car i had been gifted 2 stacks of business cards, 4 menthol cigarettes, a stuffed dog on a key chain he insisted i name Durai and place on my pillow every night, and yesterday’s newspaper- you know, incase i get bored in the airport. he probably gave me 10 kisses on each cheek, shook my hand 20 times and over and over reminded me that i was his friend. but all in all, this crazy man was nice enough to help me and although i wanted to throw myself out of the car sometimes because he wouldn’t stop talking, i appreciated Durai all the same for his small act of kindness.

after a 13 hour journey back to Phuket, a layover in Kuala Lumpur and 2 flights delayed 4 times, I arrived safely around 5 am. reluctant to pay the usual taxi fare of about 45 USD to my side of the island but so exhausted i almost didn’t care, i inquired at the taxi desk to see what the current rates were since the buses weren’t running yet. as i asked about Rawai a man walked past me in a hurry saying, “i’m heading that way if you want a lift”. i looked at him, then at the lady, thanked her and hurried after him. i followed him to his truck, threw my bag in the back and jumped in. i find out later that he actually wasn’t going my way at all but he had received so many free rides from people he wanted to pay it forward. he went a total of 1.5 hours out of his way to give me a ride back. and i slept soundly the whole way. 

now, i guess when we try to plan so meticulously and worry so much we lose sight of the ability to trust the process and trust the universe. the minute that we give ourselves up to life, and say to ourselves, “don’t worry, we’ll find a way” we do, without even thinking. we bring and manifest positive things into our lives when we stop stressing about the little shit. 

Happy Thanksgiving to my family all around the world. i am blessed on my journey and i hope you are feeling ultra thankful today. xxxx