Self-Actualization Realization

I had a little bit of a breakthrough / AHA! moment yesterday in some of my reading / research for my project. I know for me, personally, it’s been hard at times because I was always in pursuit of my ‘American Dream.’ I was working towards the things I could HAVE – title, the right zip code, shoes, purse, husband, etc… We like to HAVE things, be owners of land and homes.

When I chose to support my husband in the endeavor as a trailing spouse, I never imagined I would be completely stripped of everything – not only how I function or think about the world, but also stripped of everything I thought I knew about myself. The stress for me came not from giving up the ideal career, home or whatever. The loss I grieve is the loss of self. But, what I realized yesterday, is I had to strip myself of the attitude, “I am what I have” and become the type of person that knows, “I am what I am.”

Every tour has taken away something of the old Carla and replaced it with new. New ideas, thoughts, style, opinions (and more). I’ve learned to live with so much less and I’ve been okay with that. I’ve lived without my husband for nearly half of our marriage and I’ve survived. I’ve lived without my friends, family and support system more than once. I’ve learned to rely on my faith and myself.

In essence, I feel the true sense of liberation. I’ve had the opportunity to determine what and who I want to be, aside from societal pressure or conventional wisdom. It’s not an easy transformation, and heck, it’s taken 13 years so far for me to feel like a little blossom has poked through the dirt. But, thankfully, every flower must grow through dirt.

(Now, if I could only finish the project, right…wink…almost there, friends!)

Until next time,

Simply live,


UP NEXT: The Summary

New to the series? Start at the beginning here.

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