Okay, one more for 2011. Are you surprised in the slightest?

My sister picked that shirt out for me last week. She said it’s basically my theme shirt and I should wear it all the time – especially with my friends.

I wrote once about the time I Skyped with someone, got off the phone with them and a girl in the hostel looked at me. “You smile alone. You’re funny.”

A friend would later say that should be the title of my self-help book or autobiography.

“I Smile Alone.”

I ended up wearing that shirt for the first time as a pajama shirt rather than out and about with friends. When I looked in the mirror the next morning, not only did I see myself, but I could read the message perfectly. I’d put the shirt on inside-out, so looking back at me – Myself, and “You Make Me Smile.”

And it made me smile, and it made me laugh.

When I was talking to the writer and photographer at the castle in Sintra, Portugal, the ones who scoffed when I said “I’m trying to be both of you,” one of them heard about my four-month trip and with a smirk asked, “So did you come here to find yourself?”

He said it as though I must have been running, or must have had baggage at home. Yes – I changed. Immeasurably. Yes – I found out more about myself than I could have thought possible.

Did I go over to smirk-worthy “find myself” as though something in my life had been missing prior? As though I was longing to find my spot in the world because I’d previously been feeling lost? Alone?

I told him, “No, I felt pretty good before. I just came to see, learn and tell stories.”

To have had the year and the experiences I’ve just had was such a blessing. To share it – in person, on the phone, in the blog… to have people to share it with. To have people to call the second I have good news, or when I need them because I have bad news. To giggle with, to goof around with, often to overanalyze with…

There was a post Freshly Pressed the other day, and this guy is having a good week. Over 500 bloggers have “liked” it so far- my high was 130!

Five Ways to Find Your Future.

Your future is about people not projects or accomplishments. Current relationships tend to maintain stability; new relationships disrupt. Treasure both.”

I didn’t go to Europe to find myself. I know where home is, and geographically, there are a few. More importantly, I know what makes me happy and I wish for everyone that they find that place. And hell, if you have to go somewhere to find yourself – take risks to find yourself – Do it! Maybe guy on the top of the castle, so sure of himself, hasn’t reached his potential. I think you’d be so boring if you didn’t think you could improve.

Life would be boring.

But none of the best of 2011 would have happened if I didn’t have these people.

Just a few of the best. Thanks, everyone.

Can’t wait to share 2012.

Now I’m done for the year.

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One thought on “Okay, one more for 2011. Are you surprised in the slightest?

  1. This is a great quote…:
    “No, I felt pretty good before. I just came to see, learn and tell stories.”

    I may have to use it sometime… I’ll be sure to give you the credit.

    Too often people think that traveling is just to ‘find yourself’ or ‘escape’, but it doesn’t have to be… It could just be a desire to see something more than your own city. Or to be inspired to do something more. Or just to try authentic food. There are a million different possibilities for why people travel. I’m glad you see it that way, makes for some great travel stories.

    🙂

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