See the world, see yourself.
I have the world on my mind lately.
I've felt that itch that gets way underneath your skin so that you can't scratch it gone. You can only relieve it by stretching your wings a bit and stepping out into some new air. It's a certain kind of restlessness that I've learned is the soul's way of saying, "It's time to find something different."
At the end of my junior year of college, I randomly decided to study abroad in England. I think when you are young you move through semesters and friends and activities and boyfriends and summer jobs and quick trips and plans and ideas so quickly that you don't have time to get restless. You're just hoping for some rest. And then I had such a tough year, the kind of tough that you can't really put your finger on, you just know it's hard. Rest didn't sound like the answer. So I went away.
It wasn't my first time traveling, not my first time abroad, but it was the first time I sort of made a decision to get out there on my own. I went alone. And then I found my way. Someday when I'm old, if I'm mapping out my life, I'll probably point to this little semester and say, "Not only did I find my way, I found myself."
These days, traveling is a luxury. That kind of time is not afforded regular adults, especially not regular adults with kids and jobs and budgets and families and lives. Still these days, I feel that pull, strong as ever, to get outside myself to truly find me.
Probably all the bits of me I found abroad I could have stumbled upon here too. I am where I am, therefore all that's in me is always with me. I just need a new perspective to find it. It's a selfish time of life, being in your twenties, so we think that the "I found myself" pieces are the important ones. But there's a reason you find yourself outside of your comfort zone: It's because you're looking outside of yourself. Now that I think about it, the times when I'm focusing outwardly are the times I feel most content and alive.
There is world to see everywhere. I may have learned the tactic traveling it, but it works just as well to explore your city or to meet a new friend or to help someone in need or just to switch up your routine. These are all ways to get out into the world, ways to see the world.
And if you see the world, you'll see yourself.