We came of this trip to get away from it all. At least, to get away from everything except ourselves. We wanted not just to see a new part of this world but to see who we were someplace else, without expectations. Many people say they travel to find themselves, but I’m thinking that few actually have the strength to look internally at the one person who will always be with them. And I don’t blame them. It’s really difficult to get to know who you are, one because there’s so much noise and distraction to block out, and two because a lot of what you might discover and how it might affect your life is difficult to accept. And just like our lives, and unlike many movie characters, we are crazy complicated and always changing. While we’re still young, an internal battle starts; we learn to dislike and even fear our own minds because they can become so out of our control. We want to think a certain way, be a certain person, but our minds have a mind of their own sometimes. Really, I’m beginning to discover, the only way to gain control over what we think and feel and to create peace with the self is by overcoming this fear. We have to accept anything we might learn about ourselves, and the more we learn the more control we have. It is possible to become the person you want to be, to train yourself to act rationally, kindly, whatever, but to get there you have to travel some rough seas. From my brief experience in the area of observing my own mind face to face, I already see that we have to come to terms with many unpleasant realities about how we have lived our lives and what leads to pain for ourselves and others. But also, by discovering these truths, we can learn to accept and eventually move past them. I think this is the only real way to develop a sincere internal peace that can be shared with the world. If we bury pieces of ourselves, they will have the power to dictate our thought and behavior; this is how we lose control. To have full control in our lives, we all need to get to know ourselves better, our weaknesses, our desires, without judgment. But that peace I spoke of, the peace that this hard work can bring, just glimpses of it reveal it’s worth everything for, in the end, we will be able to control how our life is experienced – by ourselves and others. And this journey, though it has pushed me to a breaking point, once, twice, I don’t know how many times, it’s one of my proudest decisions so far.

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