Currently, I’m packing up my old life in LA and am in the process of moving back to my hometown in Charlotte, NC. I’m surrounded by boxes of my stuff, food containers, and memories of a past life. I’ve been sleeping on hardwood floors and have only a single chair left to sit on (which I’m sitting in as I write this until the next buyer arrives to take it away too.)
In a way it’s funny. And in a way it’s sad. But mostly it’s scary and exciting.
My first big move as an adult was when I left the states and had no idea when I was going to come back. I left my hometown to model in South Africa… not because I wanted to be a model, but because the little girl inside my head wanted to force myself to become someone else. I thought, “If I could be someone different, then I could really love myself. And then I could be loved.”
I didn’t think anyone could possibly love me as I was (romantic or otherwise). I only saw myself as if I was nothing other than a bundle of flaws and that it’s no wonder I had so few real friends. The common denominator was… well, me.
I SAW A GIRL.
… who was over-sensitive. Who felt hurt and tried desperately not to cry when a friend criticized her, constructive or not
…. who was inflexible. She got upset when her friends were late for their plans.
… who took things too personally. She felt guilty about silly things like when her friends pushed her to go out when she didn’t feel up to it.
… who got defensive even when the accusations weren’t true. She was so insecure that if someone accused her of having blue hair, she would have believed it must be true.
… who tried too hard. She wore sexy clothes for attention she didn’t even like but it was better than feeling lonely when she was passed by.
… who couldn’t control her appetite and literally stuffed her face when no one was looking.
… who was labeled “pretty” by outsiders but hated her body for every one of its teeny little flaws.
I didn’t like that girl one bit. I wanted SO BADLY to NOT be that girl. To NOT feel those things. I was always talking to myself, “Girl, get it together.” “This time you can do it.” “This time you can control yourself.” But I just couldn’t help it.
So I did my best “fake it until you make it” impression… until I couldn’t pretend anymore. Since I didn’t know how to “fix” all the things that were “wrong” with me, I decided to throw myself to the wolves to see what happened.
I once had a fellow model tell me, “you can’t grow as a person if you’re always in your comfort zone”. (Advice I didn’t ask for, mind you. What I heard was that she thought I sucked and needed a serious internal makeover.) I took it to heart. And myself to South Africa… and then to multiple countries over the next few years.
Turns out that model was right because as I was bouncing around the world trying new things, meeting unique people and experiencing different cultures, I found ME. And you know what? I’m not so bad. In fact, I’m kind of awesome. I came to a place where I learned to accept myself so I no longer have to hide and pretend I’m not who I am.
EMOTIONS ARE WARRANTED.
When I feel unwanted emotions, I stop and I listen. Because feeling them through and getting them out keeps them from spiraling to a place that causes failed relationships, lost friendships and stubborn insecurities. Emotions are there to send a much-needed message from the Universe and it’s up us to interpret it and do something about it.
As I was moving from country to country, I learned how to believe in ME. And that it was time to make myself a home and to start making my dreams come true. So I moved to LA because I was ready to be myself for WHO I REALLY AM and not WHO I THOUGHT I SHOULD BE.
BACK TO THE PRESENT.
And that brings me to where I am now… sitting in my pink-stained IKEA chair in one of my favorite cities ever, waiting for the next buyer to take more of my memories away. (But they can’t really because they’re filed away in my head… all the fun times, personal growth, divine messages and lessons learned.)
If I was so intent on settling down in LA, arguably one of the coolest cities on earth, why am I moving back to my hometown?
Turns out that where I am is irrelevant. I can be myself and make my dreams come true in South Africa, Germany, Brazil, LA… or in Charlotte, NC.
(And not to mention, there’s a compassionate, handsome man waiting for me in our new place together. Like I said, scary and exciting.)
Right now it’s time to come home.