Musings Before My Departure


Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past thirteen years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Brené is the author of two #1 New York Times Bestsellers: Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection. She even has a great TED Talk online. I have not read much of her work, although one of Brene’s quotations has stuck with me.

“Be willing to let go of who you think you should be, in order to be who you are.”

I have been thinking about this a lot as I prepare for my year abroad. As much as this series of adventures will allow myself to grow in countless ways, I will be giving up being close to everything and everyone I’ve ever known in order to fulfill my goals of the person I would like to be. I am temporarily giving up roles that I’ve always had, such as partner, sister, employee; to simply be myself.

Some may say that I am selfish. A few people may understand my insufferable wanderlust. Of course, there are some who are happy for me, and are crucial segments of my support system – and I am incredibly grateful for these individuals every day.

The first thought that came to my mind when I saw a poster encouraging students to apply for this opportunity was, “I can do that.” That is a huge step from a person I was prior to starting my university career, a young woman without self-confidence. The very idea that I didn’t convince myself not to try something new or use negative self talk is note-worthy. And since that moment, I have had such amazing help from my faculty, family, co-workers, and friends to affirm myself in this direction. I cannot express how thankful I am. Truly. I can’t believe that I am two weeks away from packing my suitcase and driving to the airport.

I’ll leave you with one last quote by Kyoto Escamilla.

“Your 20’s are your ‘selfish’ years. It’s a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time, and all the aspects of you. Tinker with shit, travel, explore, love a lot, love a little, and never touch the ground.”

While I think it’s an inspiring statement, I must say that every year of your life was given only to you. Be who you want to be every single day, and if you so choose, never touch the ground.

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