[Queue 2Pac.]

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been nine weeks of this crazy journey. I’ve experienced so much change in those few short weeks — my bed, my workspace, my schedule, and the city I wake up in each morning is different week to week, sometimes even drastically different just one day to the next. And all of these things will continue to change, at least ten more times, over the next 43 weeks.

Adapting to my new surroundings will be an invaluable skill that I will continue to develop and fine tune, as the more seamless I can make each transition, the more time I can spend enjoying the new people and places of each city. My hope is that the start of each month will come easier as the year progresses, and that simple things like finding the nearest convenience store or the best route from my apartment to the office will start to become more of an enjoyable task than a daunting undertaking. I guess time will tell, right?

But regardless of the ever-changing nature of my current lifestyle, I’ve noticed that some things will always stay the same. I still speak to dogs and not their owners in passing at the park. My dance moves still consist of mostly finger wagging and weird flailing. I’m still mediocre at best when it comes to billiards, and I certainly still laugh harder than anyone at my own bad jokes.

Generally speaking, I’m still the same person I was when I left Atlanta. I still have the same hopes and dreams, and I most certainly still have the same fears and insecurities.

I’m not saying that I’m not changing at all — I wouldn’t be in this position or doing this program if I didn’t hope to grow as a person. In fact, I’m quickly learning just how much you can discover about yourself when everything else around you is in constant flux. The beauty of stripping your life of any and all consistency or routine is that it can bring to light some habits and patterns of thinking that you weren’t even aware you had. And once you’ve become aware of these tendencies, you can begin to try to understand why you might do them. You start to ask yourself why you always sit in the corner chair when you go out to restaurants or why you always get your best work done first thing in the morning. You begin to understand why the things that make you tick actually make you tick. You open up doors for self discovery and growth.

Self-awareness breeds self-love and acceptance, and when we are in a good place with ourselves we can start to better the lives of those around us.