“We travel because we need to, because distance and differences are the secret tonic to creativity. When we get home, home is still the same, but something in our minds has changed, and that changes everything.”
I don’t know who wrote this, but I’m grateful for whoever did. Because me coming across this quote was no coincidence, there’s a reason for everything and this was just that one thing that I’ve been not searching for. Inspirations spark when you least expect it and I have my friend, Tess, to thank for it.
It’s good to know I’m neither the first person, nor the only person in the world to feel so very lost in my own life. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve traveled so many times before. I even lived in China… CHINA for 8 months straight, granted I knew the people there, I felt safe from the very beginning, and studying is so very different than working that’s for sure. And so, returning home from Thailand after my first trip working as a full time model, I cannot fathom just how much my mind grew, how much my soul matured from being away for only three months. THREE. As opposed to eight months in China. I would say it is easy to adjust back into American culture. I would say it’s easier to adjust to the time difference. But readjusting to the life I left going to Thailand and returning with all the knowledge I have about myself and having a taste of what international travel is like for modeling, it’s an entire different ball game.
Was it the fact that I knew not a single person upon landing in Thailand? Or the fact that I had to depend on myself for a change? The biggest factor of all was learning my independency and the newly discovered emotions that arose with it. All the anxiety I had quickly disappeared when I wasn’t able to plan a simple schedule, something I always do at home— use my OCD organizational skills to make endless amounts of to-do lists and plan my week out daily— The uncertainty of life was at a 99% incline and I had no control.
The strength of my once anxiety was no longer a burden. I had to learn how to live with a bunch of strangers that quickly became my family. Most of which felt like a reality TV show and I was somehow entwined in the middle of it. I created a big chunk of negativity in that house and my experience was not the greatest.
If you asked me in the beginning of March, I would’ve said take me home. I don’t want to be here. I let the worst in others get the best of me, and suddenly I didn’t feel safe in my own house. Around April, I release all that bottled up negative energy and I felt better, which in turn created a positive outcome. I’ve had my fair share of struggles, but this year was a strong emotional rollercoaster. Something I’ve learned from my trip, don’t allow others to make you feel inferior, don’t allow others to treat you with disrespect, don’t allow others to bully you. Do your thing, do you. Be yourself and be crazy, don’t care what other people might think of you, because chances are they are as crazy as you are.
And of course, during my final week in Bangkok I didn’t want to leave. Actually, I take that back. I was indifferent, I knew I was leaving and was excited to go home, but sad to leave the friendships I created behind. However, I know they are all split and not in Bangkok anymore, some returned home, others went on to their next destination.
With my return home, I was extremely optimistic and hopeful of my career and what I wanted to do and the things I wanted to achieve. But, now that it has been about a month, all those things I was looking forward to do, didn’t happen. My hopeful heart quickly replaced itself with guilt and a few shattered dreams and the doubts in myself subtly crept up on me. What’s next for me?
It’s funny how the mind works though. I remember the first weekend being back, I had a casting and I spent the entire day with one of my good friends here and walking around the city, my city — Chicago. Just a simple suburban girl who never appreciated the city until that very moment. Breathing in the fresh air and looking up at the skyscrapers made me feel so refreshed and so relaxed, like I was ready to take on what life threw at me. I was excited for those challenges to come bite me in the ass. Little did I know, it was going to attack me full force the following week. It hit me pretty hard the first day I stepped foot into my dad’s office where everything and everyone was exactly just how I left it—nothing…absolutely nothing had changed and that scared the shit outta me. I expected change. I wanted it. And I was shocked that I didn’t get the change I needed to satisfy my thirst to be happy with where I’m at in that aspect of my life. It’s usually the fact that change frightens me and I run for the hills, so I find it odd that now I yearn for change.
You know, I’m good at procrastinating. I’m really good at ignoring things and masking the pain of existence. Heck, I am a PRO at pretending and hiding from all things that require being in the present and dealing with reality. Until of course, I hit rock bottom and for that moment in time, I am helpless, vulnerable, and defenseless. For that brief time, I am unable to brush it off and push through the obstruction blocking my path.
2016 has been one of my toughest years yet… well, from what I can remember. However, I think I’ve already come across a ton of obstacles this year while still learning of new ones popping up unexpectedly. I have yet to process everything and take it apart to get a better idea of what I am trying to battle, but so far it’s dealing with emotions I least expected, taking the fear of showing the real me and not being so shy anymore, facing humility, anxiety – still a work in progress, but improving, and so much more. Things I’ve been battling for a while has resurfaced and things that I found to be problematic that needs resolving. I’m learning to find the strength within myself to have patience and to be comfortable in my own skin. I want to work, but in order to work, I have to take care of myself first. A healthy mind is the start to a healthy body. Optimism is the key and I somehow had it in 2015, but lost it when I went to Thailand and have been fighting to get it back.
I literally went incognito for the first three weeks of being back home. I didn’t leave the house even to run a simple task, it’s like somehow I curled up into a ball and was trying to forget everything that had happened without acknowledging that it even happened. I stayed at home like a hermit, didn’t exercise, didn’t eat healthy, slept all day and basically bummed around feeling like shit about myself. I was so lost. I didn’t feel like I had a purpose. Like, what was I supposed to do? And now after being home for a bit longer, makes me wish to be anywhere but here. Actually, I wanna be everywhere. I want to travel to continue learning and exploring and growing, but I also enjoy the comfort of home.
I didn’t think it was possible. I mean, I knew international modeling was possible, but I had no idea people actually would go from one placement to the next and keep doing so for more than a year. That opened an entire different window for me. And finding out two agencies in HK are interested in me sparked the flame some more. But I’m at that stage right now, doubting myself as always, thinking, oh, they don’t want me anymore. Nobody wants me. I waited too long to decide… you know, all these negative thoughts again. In reality, I should be uplifting my spirit and believing in myself, which I am trying to do.
So, what do I want to do now? Everything. I want to chase the dreams that occupy my heart while trying to not lose myself in the process. Home will always be there. My family will always be there. But you cannot learn from family and being in one place what you can learn from all over the world.
travel while you can, but don’t just travel
live. explore. dream. create – xoxo – rebeccanne