3 years ago, I left Facebook and went to France for a month by myself.
It was the first time I had traveled alone, and I had no idea what I was doing there. At the time, I felt incredibly disconnected to myself. Like there were parts of me missing that I hadn’t seen in years.
It's fitting that this photo would pop up while I’m in the process of writing through it. My journal entries from this time are stark and lifeless. I have a hard time reading through them, let alone writing about them.
What’s interesting though, is that slowly I start seeing myself come back to life. Doing the things I want to do. Remembering the things I used to love. Learning to accept myself. Finding my own strength and independence.
That trip was like having a taste of my own personal freedom. Like getting those parts of me back again. And when I came home, I was heartbroken. Because I realized I had built a life that didn’t allow for that at all.
It’s taken years of me stripping away entire areas of my life to get to where I am now. And while the pain has been (and sometimes continues to be) immeasurable - I now have the opportunity to live in my freedom every single day.
And that is an incredible gift - for anyone - but especially, for someone who had shut themselves off from the world for so long.