Living on the road is hard. You’ll miss your friends, your family and the familiar watering holes around town. You’ll miss the consistency, the ease of it all. As I woman, I miss doing my hair, getting “all done up” and going out for a night on the town. Rarely am I aware that I truly miss these things until I’m in the public eye. Sometimes I do recognize these desires, but mostly being out in the wild wearing my Chacos with socks, yoga pants, and a hat all week is liberating, comfortable and extremely freeing.
You’re in wild away from society’s expectations. You don’t realize you have blackheads on your nose or no makeup on. You feel relaxed without a care in the world. You snap a few photos to relive the moment later. When you finally see yourself, it’s an unflattering image at best and all of those wonderful feelings from before dissipate.
For me, these moments are the worst! My self-esteem plummets. I felt so good in that moment before. I thought that outfit was becoming, my skin felt clean, and my hair was in that cute messy bun thing. I thought. All I want to do after seeing this image is jump into a steamy shower and put my heels and lipstick on. All I want after seeing this is to feel pretty, even in the wild. It sounds dumb, looks bad on paper, but I don’t care. It’s the truth. And I knowI’m not the only woman who experiences this feeling.
So you go the nearest mirror and start to primp and preen yourself. You run your fingers through your hair and splash water on your face. Pull out the mascara and concealer, and then BOOM…you instantly feel better.
It’s fun not to care. I’ve gotten to the point where most days I don’t. Honestly. To prove to myself that I can take my “not caring how I look in the wild” attitude a step further, I even started a little experiment to see how long my armpit hair could grow this summer. It lasted about a month and a half. The results showed that it’s more comfortable, less work, surprisingly not as sticky, and even brought out my pheromones, which my man significantly enjoyed. Hair is supposed to be there, even on females. I might be onto something here…The Modern Hippie? Hummm, maybe that’s something to marinate on for later. Even though it was enjoyable to have long flowing pit hair, I only wish that I could have gotten over being self-conscious every time I (once again) was in the public eye. I noticed myself intentionally not raising my arms above my head.
Society has always made women think that they are supposed to be something other than themselves. You should be thin, have a certain hairstyle, wear clothing that looks like you don’t care, even though it took hours of Pintresting to put together. Or maybe it’s something else you’re trying so hard to mimic like a post on Instagram from someone you admire. So many of us, including myself at times, have or are still trying to mold ourselves into something we’re NOT.
The point is…being in the wild, really being in it, makes you forget all of those things, even if only for a little while. It’s not just a cure for this expectation bullshit. It’s THE fucking cure.
No makeup, comfortable clothing, messy hair, and a damn good view. I love living the camper life. I do. Traveling truly forces me to tap into the core of who I am. I have to, because I’m exposed to the elements and to myself. It’s an undeniable thing. I don’t know how else to describe it, but this thing, this feeling, especially as a woman, sets you free from society’s expectations. Don’t get me wrong – men can experience this too. I’m sure many of them do. I know to an extent, my man cares about his physical appearance and he should. Everyone should take a little bit of pride in caring for themselves. Please don’t mix that up with what I’m trying to get across here.
So back to the thing I was speaking of… When you get to that point, the one at which you’re out in the wild and feeling freed up from all of those expectations, that beautiful thinghappens. You find yourself doing WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. You won’t be so concerned about what you’re going to wear to dinner or fixing your hair and makeup. Instead, you’ll be pondering how you’re going to spend your time now that you’re not so caught up about being pretty. Because let’s face it, getting all dolled up takes time. As cliché as it is – you are already pretty. That relaxation of not wondering how you look, or whether or not you’re sucking your tummy in. You’ll discover that while being in the wild you’ll spend your time differently. You’ll become more in tune with yourself…the good and the bad. Let’s call it the raw.
The raw is who you truly are: Not the way that you want people to see you on Facebook or Twitter, not a staged out selfie with duck lips and pretty eye makeup. The raw is the REAL you, that no one can judge, that we all should strive to be, all of the time.
Throughout my time in the wild, I’ve learned that you have to be ok with yourself, with who you are, and what you look like because after all, you are the ultimate critic. It is vital to test yourself and push your raw further into your everyday life. This can be, and probably will be, a gradual transition. Do yourself a favor and get to know your raw, become inmate with it. Integrate this raw into your job, your relationships, your home-life, etc. I urge you to not be afraid; fear won’t get you anywhere! Fear will only hold you back from experiencing something beautiful. This change will take time, but I promise you’ll begin to feel better, freer, and less stressed. Trust me.
Know that I’m still working on this transition myself – you’re not alone. With that said, I’ll finish up with this: It’s easier to be yourself than someone else. There is only one YOU in the entire universe. There’s no point trying to be a carbon copy and you’ll never regret being yourself. At the end of the day, you are who you have to live with and be around all of the time, so it’s important to value yourself. The best thing you can do, for you, is to discover your raw.