In case you didn’t know her, I want to introduce you to one of the iterations of my younger self: the carefree adventurer who had a profound influence on who I am today.
This photo is from January 2012, when I was several years into my expat experience and fresh out of the Peace Corps. Though I had very few worldly possessions or responsibilities at this time, I had already gained a truly valuable skill: how to ride the waves and roll with the punches in life. I had learned to maintain a sense of humility while cultivating the energy and enthusiasm of the world, but I had yet to find a focal point to concentrate these forces. After a couple failed attempts, that nexus would prove to be The Pittsburgh Juice Company, and I would pour my whole self into it.
Today I feel very much removed from the younger self pictured here. My responsibilities are endless and time for adventuring is scarce. Living back in the city where I was born, I’ve been able to work through emotional blocks and heal chronic aches and pains; I’ve shed excess weight that I wasn’t particularly cognizant of in my younger years and, through trial and error, I’ve found peace and stability in my personal life and relationships.
I guess if I were to make a point it would be that you don’t always need to know where you’re going, as long as you approach life with a little bit of courage and a discerning head on your shoulders.
Even if you think you do know what direction you are headed, you may want to remain open to the possibility that things can change. A perceived set-back can often yield an incredible opportunity, if you allow it.
I’m grateful that my family has always accepted my decisions and understood that I needed time and space to grow into myself.
And I’m thankful for the people in my life today, who have helped me in my journey by appreciating who I am, who I have been, and shared in the kinetic energy of positive progress and continual self improvement as we travel together down the road of life.