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For better or for worse: I choose to be Me.

By Kat BartschiPublished 2 months ago 9 min read
My favorite "happy" shoes, one of a kind made for me by my beautiful niece who passed away, but helps me find my happiness every step of my journey :)

I'm a mess by all accounts. In fact, many may consider my decision to give up an apartment, comfort and security in San Francisco to being a mid-life crisis. Am I mid-life? I absolutely don't deny that my life is and has been all over the place…and may continue to be that way forever. I’m the first one to admit to the chaos of my mind and emotions and the effects of them on my life. I’ve spent years trying to FIX the mess through every possible avenue, modality and mechanism: physically, nutritionally, spiritually, psychologically, energetically…and any area in between.

I spent my entire life believing that I was BROKEN. There must be something terribly wrong with me for being dissatisfied with life and the expectations of what life is meant to look like for me. I watched as people around me continued in the same paths they were raised with: following their parents, neighbors and communities…but for me, the idea of following that pathway that everyone else headed down felt like DEATH. Shallow breathing, high anxiety, nausea…something’s trying to kill me…that kind of death.

Please understand, I mean absolutely NO DISRESPECT to every person who follows that path (however you choose to define it). I’m so happy for you that you know what you want and pursue it! But for me, I felt with every part of my being that I was not cut out for that life. I tried explaining it to people, even my own family members…but somehow by describing how terrifying that life was to ME, I’d inevitably offend whomever I was talking to. Again, please understand I am making no judgement on the way you choose to live your life. Different paths for different people. We’re not all meant to be the same…and I clearly am not…which is why it was so easy to think I was somehow broken because of it.

How could I NOT want this life that everyone around me aspired to having? How could it not be EVERYTHING that could possibly bring me happiness? So I tried to fix it…or fix me, that is. I spent years, countless hours and thousands of dollars as I attempted to live this life. Family, friends, strangers, councilors, energy healers and spiritual leaders who were all worried for me would ask questions and give advice/guidance…the same things I’d been considering and trying for YEARS already…then they’d be offended when I didn’t act on their advice (because I’d already tried it A LOT and it hadn’t worked). See what I mean? BROKEN.

Eventually I started to question my motives. Why was I trying to be something that feels so unnatural to me? Why did I NEED to be just like everyone else? Why was I so afraid of being unique? The answer that kept coming to me (which I kept avoiding because it seemed too simple) was LONELINESS. I was so afraid of having to spend my life completely alone because I thought/felt so differently from almost everyone I met. I often TRIED to fit in with all kinds of diverse groups of people…all of whom I could find at least small similarities to, but most of whom I could never fully be myself with.

Tony Robbins explains, “We’re all afraid we’re not enough. At the core, there’s a place where people feel they’re not smart enough, young enough, old enough, rich enough, funny enough, something enough. And it’s the worst feeling because, underneath that, our fear is then, ‘I won’t be loved.’”

I wasn’t enough ANYWHERE. I was always going to be different, therefore, I’d never be loved. That was my core belief…which in return, caused me to feel enormous amounts of pain. Eventually the pain was too much and it started to show up in other places like my health, work and relationships…so I withdrew as much as humanly possible (still working as much as necessary to sustain myself but no more than that). I didn’t know what else to do. I knew deep down my family and closest friends loved me IN SPITE of all of my differences and craziness but that’s not the same as being loved COMPLETELY and UNCONDITIONALLY BECAUSE of who I Am and the things that make me unique. Please don’t get me wrong, they were doing the BEST they could with what I was giving them, which at the very best of times was barely a step above misery. They did nothing wrong. This is about ME.

In my inability to feel like I could be myself, I wasn’t able to connect to happiness except in small fleeting moments. To live this way long-term, is as good as a death sentence. I found myself suicidal many times because the idea of NEVER being able to really be accepted as ME was too excruciating to imagine the rest of my life this way. And in absolute desperation for my life to change…I attended Tony Robbins' event, “Unleash the Power Within” (UPW). I had the most incredible experience there…in large part because I realized that I was not ALONE in many of the feelings I had about life. I was surrounded by 10,500 people from all over the world who were in search of unconditional love, happiness and life fulfillment in ways that were going against the pathway set by history, culture and society. But the conference came to an end all too quickly…and now WHAT? WHERE TO BEGIN??? I had been given MANY incredible tools and was now networked with this powerful, dynamic and forward-thinking group, but was still completely alone where I was and needed to decide where to go with my life NOW.

In the midst of all of the self-empowerment work and pursuit to find my way in the world where I’d truly be able to feel like myself…loved and accepted as such… I finally started to come to the realization that I needed to face my fear of being lonely…by heading out into the world ALONE.

Now I find myself lost in the world in pursuit of the joy that revives my soul…with the resolve to SPREAD love and unconditional acceptance to the lonely and unique…and if I fail or worse, if I die...I die LIVING MY DREAM, the dream of being who I WANT to be and not just what’s expected of me.

Let me properly introduce myself. I'm Kat. I'm a 41-yr-old, Single, American Woman. I'm Homeless. Unemployed. A Nomad. Traveler. Wanderer. Explorer. Minimalist. Lover. Human Dream Catcher. Collector of People. Self Empowerment Coach. Writer. Seeker of Truth. Admirer of Beauty. Fish by Sign. Air by Personality. Challenger of Reality. Ambassador of Peace. Giver to the World. Acceptor of All. Open. Willing. Able.

It’s really fascinating to me that after moving into a life of complete uncertainty and constant change 7 years ago, I’m still learning how to let go and move on.  Maybe it’s just me, but I thought for sure these were concepts that I would have been able to pick up and adjust to by now.  It seems to me that others who travel somehow feel comfortable in the unknown future of change and transition, but until a few days ago I couldn’t say I was one of them. 

I’m not sure what happened to me, but as I was sitting and meditating on the beach (a daily ritual for the 3 weeks I was living in Den Haag) I felt something new come upon me.  A sense of peace, belonging and strength filled my soul and left me...for the first time ever...feeling complete confidence that I am where I’m meant to be and doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing at the very best possible time.  This wasn’t a conscious thought or mindset that I could pinpoint at the time, but the conclusion I’ve come to after reflecting on it for some time afterwards. 

It happened in a moment...I suddenly didn’t feel so uncomfortable with the fact that I’d be transitioning to a new place again soon...or the discomfort of the unknown future.  I felt a calmness in the unseen and even in the unpredictable.  It was also the first time I was able to feel excitement for the shift ahead...anticipation in what will come my way rather than anxiety in those things which I won’t know before hand. 

At this same time, things quickly came into place with some additional aspects of my stay in Europe over the next 2 months which, in turn, added to my sense of empowerment.  I’d also been feeling blocked in creativity for a couple weeks in regards to my writing and although it didn’t completely resolve, I was able to receive some clarity and inspiration again. 

As I was talking with a friend, he asked what it was that was different about this meditation.  I can’t say that I know what caused it or why I instantly felt such a deep connection, but I believe it had to do with how empty the beach had been and my ability to finally focus.  Somehow in the past year and a half I had untrained my own ability to meditate amongst distraction and as a result, it had been months since I’d felt that level of depth within.  It made me realize how superficially I’d been focusing on all aspects of my life and how I’d allowed myself to experience extreme levels of stress without needing to.  These are lessons that I felt I had already learned and graduated on from, but it turns out I needed the reminder. 

For the first time in YEARS I feel a sense of belonging...not to one place or group of people, but to this life that I’ve taken on.  I feel absolute joy in the process and experiences that I’ve chosen to embark upon in order to find myself...and honestly, even many of the issues that I’ve had with and about myself have suddenly lost their power over me...and I’m left with nothing but love and satisfaction with exactly who I am and what I have to offer.  It’s true I’m not meant for everyone...but I Am who I am and I’m completely comfortable with that for the first time in my life.  In fact, I honestly wouldn’t want to be anybody else! 

My life is magical!  Not every moment is like a fairytale, but so much of them can be...and the other ones are still better than anything I allowed myself to experience before.  I get to travel, meet new people, live in some of the most beautiful towns and cities in the world, experience new cultures and try out things that I’ve always been curious about.  My life is amazing...and I’m so grateful I finally understand what I have!   

Moral of the Story: Life will never be as fulfilling and satisfying as it is when you come to a sense of absolute peace within yourself about who you are.  Don’t waste your life believing you’re less than you are...choose to feel strength and love for yourself TODAY.

female travel

About the Creator

Kat Bartschi

Traveling 6.5 yrs, I've danced with danger & marveled at miracles. Founder of a women's empowerment org, life coach & avid storyteller. Lived frugally & seen the unimaginable. Chronicler of strength, survival & serendipity. Join my journey!

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