Last week I was on an evening flight leaving Bangkok. As our plane rose over the night city, I noticed roads connecting houses. Highways connecting neighborhoods. Planes connecting cities. Phones connecting everyone. I thought about how being connected isn't really the same as being known. And how the purest, most refreshing type of connection happens when we're honest enough to share our loud and messy hearts.
One of the things I love most about traveling — and about writing — is how it elevates my ability to connect with myself and other people. And after spending time in cultures more communal than mine, I can't help but wonder if some of my individualistic thinking patterns are manufactured. Maybe we're already more connected than we think we are.
There's a paradox in learning to be truly connected in a connected world. To let down our guards and allow ourselves to be really, honestly known. It requires an uncomfortable dose of humility and courage. Because it's risky. There's something in me that wants to wait until I have it all figured out before being open. It requires a lot more courage to say, "Hello, here I am. Unfiltered. Far from perfect. Still figuring out how I think and what I believe and who I am." It's terrifying — and it's freeing.
Most paths that have led to freedom and fullness in my life have required a bit of risk. And at the end of the day, I'd rather choose uncomfortable courage than safety from a distance. I'd choose connection in honest humility over being alone with my pride.
Earlier this summer, I wrote in my journal,
"There is a freedom in learning to be humble.
Pride marks our worth relative to other people's, but humility has nothing to prove. It doesn't compare or seek approval. Humility has a gentle way of showing us our scars while reassuring us our worth is infinite. It isn't rooted in how well we hide our brokenness. Pride whispers insecurity, telling us to hide... but humility gently nudges us, 'Let your guard down. It's ok. Be seen.'
Where the exhausting quest for approval ends, freedom begins."
Where the quest for approval ends, we have space to be our honest selves. And connection without honesty is shallow. Shallowness shortchanges us. We can’t fully receive love if we’re not allowing ourselves to be seen.
So — here's to the courage it takes to share the unglamorous parts of our stories. The freedom in letting ourselves be seen. The shaking in our voices as we reveal our scars. The sighs of relief when we find someone who can relate. The honesty in late night conversations. The "me too"s. That's the good stuff.
Thanks for stopping by. A little about me — I have a latte each morning and drink about 7 cups of tea a day (not exaggerating.) I live in Atlanta where I'm going to law school. I like long distance running and I love my city and I love exploring our beautiful earth. I believe in following our passions & being free.
I started this blog to document and share my favorite moments while traveling. This is a place where I process my ideas, share the aches and joys of my heart, speak truth, and shine light on the beauty I see in the world.
I've realized that what I probably love most about traveling is the same thing I love about writing — the way it connects me to myself and other people. I hope as you read my words, you feel connected to our shared humanity.
Thank you for reading. :)
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