It’s 9:22am, 2:22am Chicago time. Not that it matters when you were up drinking til 4am with an 8am flight this morning. Oh, Dublin. In my aisle seat on this American Airlines flight, I can feel my brain finally taking a moment to process the previous month with a flood of reflection, smiles, confusion, faces, pints, trains, pictures, questions, and realizations. What a crazy time, in a crazy place, so similar to the States but worlds away from my everyday living and experiences.
The decision to go on this trip was definitely the greatest possible way to spend this period of transition and growth, but don’t tell my credit cards that. If only I could pay rent with Life experience and self-actualization! Then again, even if that was an accepted form of currency, I’m sure the exchange rates would kill me anyway.
US dollar -> Euro -> Pound -> Kroner -> Experience -> Memories -> beyond broke,but surprisingly happy about it. I suppose it’s wanderlust, but I prefer to think it’s just perspective growth.
the bigger the World feels,
the more I feel I need to see it,
the more of the World I see,
the smaller it feels,
and then I see and feel how small my problems are..
You could make a strong argument that I was just running away from my problems. I wish that weren’t the case, but if I’m being honest, there’s a part of me that is running.. but it’s a part of me that is always running.. it’s the same part of me that refuses to grow up, holds onto dreams, acts irrationally, and falls for the same relationships doomed for self-sabotage. I’ve learned that I am so very flawed, and I’m learning to be okay with it. And part of being “okay with it,” is learning to accept myself.
So, I decided to grow some facial hair.
I’ve never kept facial hair in my Life. I don’t think I’m good at it. I don’t think I like it. And it’s just never been a look that I’ve ever wanted to have for myself. I’ve done the occasional feeble attempt at Movember, but it has consistently proven how awful my facial hair grows in. (Is he Asian? Or Mexican? Or in 8th Grade? ..is he trying to do that? Or has he just not looked in a mirror in awhile?)
So, after my birthday on August 19th (Happy belated birthdaaay to meeeee), knowing I was going to be heading to Europe soon, I decided to stop shaving. It was easy, because I was in Indiana kind of hiding away from the World and knew that nobody would really be seeing me.
Why I stopped shaving:
I’m lazy, I won’t be able to shave in Europe, I can’t fly with razors on the plane, it’ll be a hassle, I don’t want to have to worry about it, I needed to do something different.
As I’ve stated in previous entries, I know that we can’t expect things to change if we don’t make changes. I want some things to change in my Life. And even though I don’t know which little parts I need to change for results, this seemed like a simple little change that could yield big results. Here’s why: I don’t think I look good with facial hair, therefore, I’m self-conscious about it. Traveling to new places with different cultures is already a Comfort Zone expanding experience that creates feelings of both excitement and uncertainty. And I need to be okay with all of these things.
It comes down to Self-Acceptance. If I’m going navigate this uncertain adventure, I’ll need to act confidently and emit the positivity that I cherish about myself. And this needs to happen despite what is growing on my face.. in plain sight.. open to be judged.. inviting whatever hideous turned-off response the horrified masses of Europeans who see it may think.. (I was feeling pretty Tyrion Lannister, post-Battle of Black Water) [I’m such a nerd] and as you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking how absurd this sounds! Because it is, but this thought process hand-in-hand with this newfound experience with facial hair. And just as you’d expect, Nobody gave a shit.
A) They didn’t know I’ve never had facial hair.
and B) who cares? Because.. who cares? Only me.
That’s the reality. Nobody cares about your self-conscious, ridiculous thoughts of uncertainty and potential embarrassment.. because it’s not important. Going through this experience was important for me, because facial hair is a tangible representation of the very real feelings of doubt I have in myself. As with everyone, I am riddled with flaws that make up who I am as a person, and who we are as people makes up the Lives that we Live and how we interact. As you know, I’m working on improving myself, but I cannot improve upon what I don’t accept about myself. So as I improve upon this (bearded) Self-Acceptance, it only opens more doors to the Person I’m working toward. And who knows? I may shave, I may not.. regardless, growing the facial hair was only to grow self-esteem and self-worth. And those are much more visible in a person than hair.
It’s a mindset. I’m awesome. There’s no reason to think I’m less than awesome. So.. I’m awesome.
Accept Yourself, Friends. You’re awesome.
(and don’t worry, I have plentyyy more to write about Europe SOON!)