Cracked [Day 14]

Image by Laura Smith

As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been trying to delve into my inner self again. I’ve mostly been posting pictures lately because, despite having ideas for what I want to start writing here, I’m not sure I have more words to describe everything yet. I’m still figuring things out, as it’s all a part of that “culture shock” experience – that ebb and flow of growing and expanding in new environments and situations. Thankfully, after living abroad for three years now, I’m used to it and can recognize when each phase is occurring, but this time it’s hard to find the words because I think it’s just a bit more than that. This time it seems to also be more about the growing and expanding of myself in general. I find myself searching for things, and that search brings me to looking inward, searching for something within myself – trying to crack myself open, so to speak, in order to find those parts that have been hidden away for fear of beingtoo exposed here.

I already all too often feel as though I am already exposed enough (both good and bad) in this part of the world – especially in regards to looks. I try to dress down as much as possible, to blend in so that I don’t draw any more attention [as a foreigner] than I need to. Thus, I have found myself beginning to collect magazine clippings of things that inspire me, things I think represent me, and things that I feel really are me – even though I may not have done/had it before because, like I said, I’m trying to crack myself open and get back in touch with the real me again – the one that’s not determined by how others perceive me. (Collages helped express myself when I was younger, so why not now? It is good to revisit the past sometimes during times like these.)

In general, this is an interesting point for me in my journey here. We now have basically one year left here, so I do want to make the most of it, but (as hippie-dippy as this may sound) my introverted self wants that time to be enjoyed hidden away in the mountains like a hermit, rediscovering my values, my interests, and my purpose(s) here in life. However, I’m doing my best to find what’s be pushed aside and hidden away without quitting my job or finding my own little crack in the wall to hide my whole self in…