Dear Puttylike reader, this is a classic Puttylike post. Meaning, it’s from the early days–from before I really found my voice or knew what I was doing. I’ve chosen to keep this post online for the benefit of Puttylike readers who have worked their way backward through the archives. And also to highlight the fact that everybody starts somewhere! xo, Emilie
A little disclaimer before I begin: I’m sick right now and have a bit of a fever.
Perhaps it’s due to my current state of delirium, but feeling this way has really got me thinking about the last few months and where this is all leading.
Last year I had this tremendous urge to run away from Montreal. Everything was getting to me. It was all too familiar, too comfortable.
Law school was ending and it seemed like a good time to make drastic life changes. So I packed up my stuff, tied up my loose ends, and moved to a totally foreign country where I knew no one and didn’t speak the language. I wanted to be lost in the world a little. I really viewed my departure as a rebirth of sorts. Goodbye old life, hello new life that I design myself. From now on, I am who I choose to be.
But over the last few months, I’ve noticed something interesting while walking around Copenhagen. I often feel disconnected. I mean, I love the culture and everyone’s really nice. But there are all of these people going about their daily routines- picking up their kids from school, taking the bus, going to work. It’s so strange… I don’t feel like a tourist but I still feel like I’m observing.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m SO happy to be here. I feel much more positive and confident. It was the best possible choice for me. But I am starting to miss that sense of belonging that I was running away from. This wasn’t something I was expecting to feel.
I don’t want to move back home. I think that would land me back where I was before I left. In fact, I don’t think my traveling is even close to being over. But eventually I do want something… Some sort of community. Some place that feels less.. transitory.
Ultimately I think this was the purpose of my trip. I needed to get some distance from everything I knew so that I could properly assess what I value most and start building from there.
I think it’s important to ‘clear out the clutter’ so that you can figure out what you value and what you don’t. Only then can you consciously select the influences you want in your life. And that makes all the difference between feeling empowered and feeling powerless. So that’s where I’m at now- assessing more concretely what it is I want and putting future plans into action.
Whew.. hopefully you got something out of this feverish little ramble. If you have any of your own stories about running away from home, traveling, reassessing life, etc. please share them. My thoughts are a little half-formed on this subject, but it’s obviously something I’ve been thinking a lot about. Would love to hear about your experiences and insights.