Confession: This isn’t the post you were supposed to be reading.
Initially, I’d planned an exhaustive photo-based recap of my month abroad. But, as I started compiling images and thinking of what to say, I realized I had to get some things off my chest first. I promise the pictures and anecdotes are coming soon. Until then, consider this your prequel. It’s an interesting one, so take a read…
This month was perhaps among the most important time in my life thus far. I left everything I held close – my family, my home, my language – and dove headfirst into a startlingly unfamiliar world. I battled homesickness, culture shock, and countless other “barriers” (language barriers included). If we’re being honest, it was one of the hardest periods of my life.
But it was also kind of the best. You see, the best word to describe my experience the past four weeks would be transformative. I learned how to find a home in an unfamiliar city. I learned how to enter each and every day with an open heart and mind. And, of course, I made major strides in learning a new language.
So I learned a lot about the world, about life. But I also took a crash course in myself. By that, I mean that I was forced to examine the person that I am right now. That was scary. I had to ask myself “Do I like this person? Am I proud that this is who I am?” Sometimes, the answer was yes. Other times, it was no. It’s was not easy, but it proved essential to getting the most out of my experience.
I also learned about who I have the potential to be. I know, I know, word on the street is “you can be whoever you want to be.” And this, for the most part, is true. But I’ve come to realize that who I choose to be today is huge determiner in who I’ll be tomorrow. With this perspective in mind, I am newly focused on making more conscious choices about the person I present to the rest of the world.
Lastly, this trip taught me a lot about who I want to be. I was very lucky to spend the past month surrounded by some truly phenomenal people. Everyone had so much to share, and share they did. I was continually inspired by the fearlessness, openness, and, yes, intelligence of the people around me. If I could emulate even a tiny bit of this in my own life, I would consider myself happy.
Whew. It felt good to get that out. I’ll admit, I’m a little unsure about publishing this post. But I once heard on (where else?) a podcast that, if the idea of hitting “publish” doesn’t scare you even the tiniest bit, you probably shouldn’t go there. So, I’m nervous, but also really excited. I’m excited both that I learned these lessons, and that now I get to share them with you. I hope you enjoyed reading these words as much as I enjoyed writing them.
Oh, one last thing before I sign off: The subject of today’s post – unplanned as it may have been – speaks a lot to a new interest of mine: personal growth. I avoided the topic for so long, thinking it was too “deep” for me to possibly enjoy learning about. But that’s actually kind of hilarious, because the idea of personal growth (to my understanding, that is) has a whole lot to do with the reason I write this blog. The idea of discovering your bliss, finding your path, overcoming whatever it is to create the life you want for yourself…yeah, that’s A Style Study 100 percent.
So, if it’s all right with you, posts exploring personal development are going to appear more frequently. Don’t worry, I’m not going all “wellness blog” on you (although, to be fair, there are a ton of awesome wellness blogs out there). A Style Study will still talk about all the good stuff: fashion, food, and so much more. Just picture this this blog like a giant ice cream cone, and personal growth or whatever we want to call it is just another sprinkle.
‘Cause I mean…who can say no to extra sprinkles?!
All right, that’s it for me. Until next time…