Adventures in Culture and Travel

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10 October, 2012

A Change In Me

My morning starts with the sun peeking over over the top of Place Poelaert, slipping through the cracks in my electric shade. My mobile vibrates letting me know it's time to begin living again. I toss the comforter off, rotate 90 degrees, and my toes dangle just over the cold tile floor before landing me back into this reality. I begin my crunches, adding five more to the count of the day before, whispering the numbers into the cloudy Brussel's sky as the blinds rise like the opening act to a Broadway show.  I tap my music app on my phone, and I turn on the music, Journey's Worlds Apart. I stand, open the window, a wave of cold air floods the room, and instantly I'm more awake than before. A few moments of Tai Chi, and I decide to break into dance. I grab the hair brush and turn it into an impromptu microphone. Then I stop and think what the hell is wrong with me?

I run to the window, press myself out of its frame and scream "who cares!" in reply. The lady in the street looks up at me from my 7th floor window and shakes her fist as if I've just declared war on the neighborhood.

What is with you Liv?

A change in me I decide by late in the day. Something is different. Something that you can't quite put your finger on, it's a carelessness, a freedom from other people's judgments. I just frankly don't care what people think anymore. It's not that I'm disconnecting, it's that I'm not afraid of dissent or consequence anymore. So what if I'm topless, dancing with a hair brush on the bed in a high-rise in Aderlecht? So what if I tap my feet on the tram, or sing the lyrics to Eminem on the Metro? Hell, give me another day, and I might just break into a one woman Flash-Mob.

I don't think I ever had a phobia, or culture-shock to the level some describe, but it's that un-admitted fear. That idea that people are judging you for what you say and what you do. It's a construct of society where we try to fit into the most civil, "normal", model that causes the least social friction. The problem with that is, I've never been normal, and every attempt to try to be conventional has led to more weirdness. In essence, when you forget to be yourself, you forget how to take a stand against everybody, and by that act you become nobody.

Today, I'm done with that. I'm going to be what I set out to be: someone not afraid of the change in me. To stand and say, not what you want to hear from me, but what must be said. If you're with me, place your hand in mine and run with me. If you're not, step aside. I know what I've got to do now, and I'm going to do it.

I'm going to go the distance.