First trip to California + A last minute New Year's Resolution
Hattiesburg -> Nashville -> Hattiesburg -> New Orleans -> Los Angeles -> New Orleans -> Hattiesburg -> Nashville
After a long couple of weeks of traveling. I have enjoyed having 24 hours to sit and process before heading back to Nashville first thing in the morning.
On my flight from Los Angeles to New Orleans, I jotted down thoughts from the week.
- California is a completely different world.
- Running in an environment sans humidity is pretty incredible.
- A good night's sleep fixes a wealth of problems.
- I probably should be sleeping a lot more than I do.
- It’s really perplexing to have so many things you want to photograph, but really nice to have friends who put up with you wanting to stop every 5 minutes to take a picture of something.
- I admire people who can easily pay attention in a meeting without doodling. You guys are magicians.
- Gas is really cheap where I live, and I shouldn't take that for granted.
- Most people have more in common with others than they may think at a first glance.
- Earth, Wind and Fire is the glue that holds all differing music preferences in harmony.
- It does get cold in Los Angeles.
- Insane traffic provides a beautiful space to get to know the people in the car with you.
- Hearing two devout Arkansas fans say, “Roll Tide” after my sweet Alabama took the National Championship in football was way more gratifying than I thought it would be.
- Disney park soundtracks are incredible.
These are all on my list of thoughts about the week, but the biggest take away from the trip is this:
Talking to strangers is my favorite pass time when I travel. Talking to strangers in massive airports is especially fun.
When you meet someone you’ll likely never see again, you can be anyone you want.
As ironic as it sounds, I am most comfortable being completely myself when I meet a person I probably won’t ever see again.
For someone like me who struggles with caring way too much about what other people think, meeting a stranger is synonymous with freedom.
Last week in LA, I finally put my finger on why it takes me so long to warm up to certain people - fear of losing them.
Another ironic thing - putting on a front out of fear that I won’t be good enough for someone has often been the very thing that turns him or her away.
For some reason, I really like playing it tough when I meet people that I fear won’t accept my real personality - the fearer of clowns, faker of British accents, full-blown LOTR lover and all.
Something that proves true time and time again is being someone I’m not doesn't work out well.
I suppose now is a better time than ever to try out something new, such as treating everyone I meet like a stranger in an airport - aka: being myself.
When we give ourselves the backhanded compliment of pretending to be someone else, we hurt more than ourselves. We hinder other people from being themselves too.
How can I expect people to be genuine if I am not returning the favor?
Realizing hiding my true self, hurts more than just me is really sobering. Realizing the times I am hardest on myself more often than not corollate to when I’m most critical of others is even more sobering.
When we love ourselves as the person we were created to be, we are capable of loving others as they were created to be.
I say this to people all the time. I should probably start living like I believe it.
A friend of mine once said, “Normal people are cowards. Everyone is weird. Some people are just more comfortable with being ‘weird’ than others.”
I want to live with that phrase in mind this year.
Cheers to being weird, friends. I look forward to treating you like a stranger in LAX in 2016.
I'll stop rambling now. Goodnight.
Love you guys,
Ps: Here are some photos of some cool humans and cool views in a cool place called California. (Get it? It's a play on words.. because it actually is pretty chilly in California right now.)