She felt most certain in the face of others’ uncertainty. When there was no one else for the masses to turn to, she stepped up to the plate and was the leader that she always knew she was. However, in the face of a outwardly stronger and more vocal companion, she gladly stepped back and allowed others to take the reigns, and she began to question her own certainty in the face of their boldness. That is why when she was traveling, and placed in the most uncertain and unpredictable situations, she was incredibly sure of herself. Surrounded by the unknown – that’s when she was most secure in the knowledge of who she was. She moved on instinct, and trusted herself to make the best decisions possible, and when she didn’t she was confident that she would find a way to remedy whatever situation she got herself into. At times, she moved blindly and boldly, caught up in the moment over the details, which worried the meticulous planner in her – but it always worked out in the end because she knew she could make it happen. She knew how to move in crowds, how to function without her native language, and how to read the strangers around her. She was incredibly aware of herself at all times, to the point of driving her crazy, but this was a necessary and applaudable skill when traveling. Her odd mix of anxiety and introverted nature transformed and made her into a person who was hard for her to recognize when she was back in her home, looking at the pictures that had caught her truly living in the moment.
She was constantly stripping herself down to the core to discover what made her tick and what fuel she could add to the fire that burned inside of her. It was difficult for her to walk into a room of strangers and confidently know how to introduce herself and what to say. She over thought many a situation in her life, when she allowed herself time to. The trick was not doing that. When she threw herself into a situation without forethought, she emerged a different person every time. There was no physical change in her appearance, or radical realigning of her social points of view – nothing that she could summarize and share in a Facebook profile update. But she knew that there was something different about her. She had a different tone about her, or a different way of looking at the same old problems. It was dizzying at times for her to be thrown in between these two extremes of uncertainty and lack of confidence, to operating boldly without forethought. She would often look up and not know where she stood at all anymore, or if she was in fact still standing. But the extremes were what shocked her to life. She could not maintain an average, mundane middle ground – she needed to be constantly testing her limits – testing if she was still alive.
Looking forward to her next world trip, she was excited for the opportunity to live again and be reminded of that girl that she had left behind in Australia. She was excited to see her pick up random men from bars, hike trails to the top of mountains, and feel at home in a hostel. She couldn’t wait to see who she introduced herself to, what kind of conversations she would have, and how her world view would be altered yet again. She yearned to see her lead the crowd on adventures into places unknown, with a childlike excitement and enthusiasm. She was anxious to share this piece of herself with her travel companions, and those who would be returning to home with her – maybe her role in the group that she called family would change, and they would see her more completely. Or maybe she would break away from that group and find one of her own creating. She knew she would change, she could feel it coming, she was just uncertain how she would change – but she was incredibly certain that it would be for the better.