This is my first post since Europe. I’m pretty disappointed in myself because I wanted to blog throughout all of my travels… obviously I failed miserably. Once I got caught up in traveling, all of a sudden a week had passed and I hadn’t written. Then it was 2 weeks, and then it was 2 months. The further away it got from my last post, the more difficult it became to bring myself to come back to write again.

This is very weird for me to say because I love writing, but somehow I felt like I just wanted to experience things without analyzing them for once. I’m really good at analyzing everything, and suddenly, I was just living things and having experiences. Writing a blog is like looking at your life through a camera lens. If you’re always thinking about the next perfect shot, you stop living in the moment. I love blogging and regret that I didn’t find a healthy medium, but I think living in the moment is so difficult for me as it is, so it felt like something I needed to focus on.

That being said, I would also like to give an update on my skincare routine. If you’ve read my previous blog posts, I went through a terrible phase where I had terrible skin and I tried every possible concoction, strategy and myth to try to improve it. When I left for Europe, my skin had already started to improve but was really not all that impressive. I was also really not at the level of self-esteem and confidence that I desired. Before I explain how I got to where I am today, I just have to say that my skin has SIGNIFICANTLY improved. Do you want to know what my skincare routine is? You won’t believe it. Nothing!! For the first time since I was about 12 years old, I don’t do anything. I don’t even wash my face. Do you know what else has changed? It’s unfortunate because it kind of goes against the whole premise of my blog, but I’ve completely abandoned my nutty ways with regards to the food I eat. You know my theory now? Eat what I want. I’ve been craving m&m’s every night for the past few weeks in Thailand, and every night, I would go to the 7-Eleven and buy a pack.

I know exactly why this strategy is helping more than any other. It means I’m focusing on things going on around me instead of how I feel or how I look. All of my other theories were so inwardly focused. For once, my strategy is to avoid the mirror, and do what makes me happy. I’m also decreasing my stress significantly. I have almost no time to focus on my physical flaws (washing up in the morning and before bed was the ideal time to inspect everything that was wrong with me in the mirror). I also eat whatever I want so I’m never thinking “oh, I shouldn’t eat cheese because it might make me break out.” I now have hard evidence that so much is in my own head; it’s actually pretty astounding.

I often touch my face and feel bumps because, well, I’m human. I’m not perfect. My skin is nowhere near perfect. I run my hand along my cheek and sometimes feel the urge to run to the bathroom to check on the situation. I did that just this evening, actually. And do you know what happens almost every single time I run to the mirror? I’m pleasantly surprised. I’m actually delighted because it looks much better than I imagined. I also always remind myself that no matter how imperfect I am now, I was MUCH worse off a few months ago. I promised myself I wouldn’t forget that so that I would appreciate what I have. If you’re a perfectionist too, you’ll understand how hard that is for me.

 

It's easier said than done... but I'm trying

 

I still struggle. I still have many moments when I’ll catch a glimpse in the mirror that I don’t like and practically squish my face right up to the glass and inspect every pore. But every time I do that, I never feel better afterwards. I can predict with 100% certainty that doing so will make me feel much worse. I hope that eventually I will eradicate this self-harming habit completely.

I feel like I’m in such a better place physically and emotionally than I was before traveling because it has forced me to put all of my attention outside myself and focus on taking in a completely new world. I spend a lot of internal time training myself to not think certain thoughts I have gotten so accustomed to (“Everyone is judging me” ; “I look gross”), while simultaneously trying to implement new thoughts as “normal” (“I look good” ; “no one notices the physical flaws I see” ; “these people like my personality”).

So far so good! Now I’m in Australia. We just got an apartment in Perth and we’re looking for jobs. A new kind of busy. I’ll started blogging again because I missed it and I really do have a lot to say about my experiences so far, and my thoughts on traveling in general.

Back to the skincare, I can’t see myself ever going back to relying on products, because I feel like I’m some sort of addict and won’t be able to go half-assed. I feel so empowered knowing that leaving my body in its natural state is the best thing I ever did for it. I was so scared to do it, and to be honest, every evening there’s one second where I think of attacking a pimple with the clay I still have in my backpack “just in case” but somehow resist.

I feel strong, and that’s a really good feeling.

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