The Road to Self Discovery

black cars on golden gate bridge at daytime

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“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” -Alan Alda

One of the things I love most about living life is the memories. To be able to look back and reflect upon a moment in time that is triggered by an image, a scent, or even just a familiar feeling is truly amazing to me. In fact it’s a memory that I had earlier today that inspired this post. Nine years ago on this same day, I started planning to make one of the most important transitions of my life so that I could move from my hometown of Los Angeles to the San Francisco Bay area. It was a HUGE change for me. Now to some that might not sound like a drastic change since both are in California, but if you’ve never lived in either city let me tell you it is. Northern California and Southern California are so different I feel they should be different states (like North Carolina and South Carolina). The weather is different, the people are different, the culture is different, transportation is different, everything is different! And that’s why I chose to move to the Bay; because “different” is exactly what my life called for at the time.

At first I didn’t get much support from my family or friends. According to them it was as if I had fell and bumped my head, because no one could understand why I would want to leave LA. I would hear things like “People are on a wait list to live in LA, and you want to leave! What’s wrong with you?” or “All the entertainment is down here, what will you do for fun up there?” and “You know it’s always cold and foggy up there.” I was constantly bombarded with negative comments followed by frowning faces, and sideways glances, but I did it anyway. Something inside of me desired a change and I knew this move would inspire that change. Upon moving to the Bay it became clear to me pretty quickly what I was seeking to find…myself.

“I learned it is in our darkest moments that we will see the light. I found my light and I haven’t stopped shining since.”

Now just to be clear when I say I was seeking to find myself I am in no way implying that I had no sense of self prior to this. In my opinion life in and of itself is a path of self discovery that requires us to constantly seek out our true being, and my move was simply a part of my path. There isn’t enough time or space to truly say all that I learned about myself during that time but I will say this; it wasn’t easy but it was worth it because I learned it is in our darkest moments that we will see the light. I found my light and I haven’t stopped shining since.

woman in white dress sitting beside river

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“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”-Steve Jobs 

What’s interesting about this whole recap, is that due to unforseen circumstances  life brought me back to living in LA, but at this very moment I am planning my next trip back to the Bay Area, because it will always have my heart and I visit several times a year since I moved away.  It’s like after 9 years I’ve come full circle and now can appreciate all the highs and lows of my path, and can celebrate my growth in more ways than one. Yes, I can now look back and see how the dots of my past connected to this very moment, and I can’t wait to see how they will continue to connect to my future.

“People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.” -Thomas Szasz

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  1. August 5, 2018 / 5:40 pm

    I love this post, I also went on a journey to find my TRUE self. Up until this past year wasn’t my true self I always lived according to how other people wanted me to live and because of that I felt like I was losing myself and didn’t feel right but after cutting a lot of people off and making changes I was able to find my true self and I am happy and excited about it 🙂

    • ninasnotions2018
      August 5, 2018 / 6:32 pm

      I feel ya! I’m definitely in the same boat.

    • ninasnotions2018
      August 23, 2018 / 12:51 pm

      Yes sometimes our elevation requires isolation from others. I’m happy to hear you had the courage to walk away from people that no longer belonged in your life (it’s not easy). I’m excited for your personal growth and how that will impact your future. Keep me posted!

  2. August 5, 2018 / 6:35 pm

    I love this. Discovering who you are should be an ongoing quest forever.

    • ninasnotions2018
      August 23, 2018 / 12:53 pm

      Thank you! Yes when we stop learning we stop growing, so it’s all about continuous development.

  3. Kambria
    August 7, 2018 / 4:23 pm

    Love this… So on point 🙂

    • ninasnotions2018
      August 8, 2018 / 2:34 pm

      Thank you! 🙂

  4. August 25, 2018 / 10:16 pm

    As someone who lives in Los Angeles and who has visited the Bay Area many times, you are right that they are two different worlds! And I can also relate to the negative reactions. I grew up in Texas and when I came out to LA for college, people would tell me something to the effect of, “What the hell are you thinking?” Now 15 years later, people are still telling me that lol! At the same time, as much as I love LA, I am open to living in other places. While I think the journey to self-discovery can be purely internal, moving to a different physical location can certainly help to facilitate growth.

    • August 27, 2018 / 12:13 am

      Yes LA and the Bay are VERY different! Like you I’m open to living just about anywhere because I’m not afraid of change and I’m open to new experiences regardless of the fear of unknown. Thanks for sharing your feedback!

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