Saturday, October 19, 2013


My hands and feet were placed firmly on the grass, my butt was in the air, and my belly button was reaching for my spine. I rocked my weight from one foot to the next, alternately pushing down my heels to stretch my tightened calf muscles.

Running for the first time in eight months calls for some serious stretching. I was running outside in the perfect Sydney spring air and normally would have gone home to stretch. I usually get embarrassed by stretching in public but the air was so fresh I wanted to stay outside and breathe it all in. I ran under a huge gum tree for shade and started doing sun salutations.

This is something I would never do in my hometown. I would never just randomly start doing yoga by myself in a crowded park. But here in Sydney, I felt ok. I didn't feel embarrassed. I didn't feel awkward.

I realized even if people were judging me, I didn't care. Maybe it's because as I get older, I'm becoming more comfortable in my own skin. I'm finding out what I like and don't like and how to lead a balanced life. I'm figuring out what's really best for me and not relying on magazines or other people telling me what I should be doing. It's extremely gratifying and a process I'm sure will last my whole life. Making a conscious effort to be self aware makes me happier, more productive, and less guilty.

A big part of this process has been spending time in foreign countries where I can be anonymous enough to really, truly be myself. The cultural differences make me think in new perspectives about the same issues I had before leaving. The absence of a big support system of extended family and friends makes me feel empowered, accountable, and in control of my decisions.

I don't feel badly when I say no to an invitation to go out when I really need to just stay in and recharge. I feel more confident making life decisions, like where we're going to live after Australia. I'm less self conscious showing people art that I've made and I'm more confident in my writing. 

The power of being anonymous in a new place is strong. It's like starting fresh. You can be who you want to be. You can do what you want to do. And if you don't know who you want to be or what you want to do, it can help you find answers. It did for me. I still don't have all the answers (obviously) but I feel better about not having them when I don't and fulfilled when I do. 


  1. Great post! I felt like the whole time I was reading this, I kept nodding my head in agreement. The description in the first paragraph was awesome. I like everything about this! :)