I just returned from my very first book tour and it was an amazing experience. While away, I was fortunate to visit with some family in my home state of Connecticut. I was inspired to write this post based on a conversation that occurred between my grandmother and I.
She asked how I was able to travel alone, without fear, self-doubt and with courage. It was a very profound question because I had never specifically analyzed that aspect of myself until that moment.
There were many years when I was merely a glimpse in the shadow of others. Whether lost in the troubles of family members or allowing myself to disappear while in romantic relationships, I put myself on the back burner to please others for a very long time. It's a flaw that I'm able to admit and learn from; self-growth is an imperative part of life, after all.
Once I made the decision to be seen, and it was a conscious and intentional decision, I had to find out what made ME happy. And truthfully, I had no idea. As independent as I am in certain aspects, there were other times when I was unknowingly reliant on the company of others. I began to make very specific actions that took me out of my comfort zone, and forced me to deal with the discomfort.
Traveling alone was something that was initially very fearful to me. My overly-analytical mind worried about every possible scenario that could go wrong. But, I was determined to look fear in the eye and conquer it. And, that's exactly what I did.
While traveling alone, there is no one to please but myself, no one to be dependent on, no one to shadow my identity. It is so empowering, and exactly what I needed.
This most recent trip, while not my first trip alone, was my first long-distance business trip which brought along with it the need to succeed. When I wasn't attending scheduled events, I was doing walk-ins to as many locations as possible, another uncomfortable feat that I conquered. My book and literacy tour was welcomed with open arms by every business and individual I encountered. Checkmate.
So, the answer to my sweet grandmother's question is that I am able to travel alone not out of courage or without fear, but because it is a necessity in order to better myself. And, I will no longer create boundaries that can stifle my potential. I've learned that I will never be lonely while alone. I'm pretty good company!