Self-Portraits

I have started writing prose regularly (check my Instagram account @cmcoxwrites to read it). I write more than I’ve published, and I’ve found that a lot of my recent writing has featured myself as the subject. Many self-portraits. Many new descriptions.

I think this is because of how much I have changed in the last 6 months. It was just 6 months ago that I bought a one-way ticket to Europe.
5 months ago I moved out of my apartment.
4 months ago I left Chattanooga, my home for the last 2 years.
3 months ago I returned to Texas to say goodbye.
2 months ago I boarded a plane to England.
1 month ago I finally felt my fear melt away.

I knew that with nomadic backpacking, I would have to change. As with all ‘extreme’ lifestyles, one much alter oneself in order to accommodate the pace and demands of the lifestyle. A few weeks ago, I found I had changed in all the ways I had foreseen, all the ways I knew I needed to change in order to keep up with this life – things like learning how to pack quickly, learning how to sleep in a hostel, being able to walk 20+ miles in a day, figuring out how to walk into a grocery store and select $5 or less of food that will sustain me for a day. It’s the ways I’ve changed beyond that which are shaping who I am as a person.

I can identify easily the things and people and aspects of myself that I left behind; I know who I am not anymore. But amongst these changes, wrought by travel and meeting new people, inspired by books and willing some of the changes, I have shifted the parts of me that are internal, unseen.

I’ve had the delight of looking in and asking, “Who am I now? What new version of myself is this?”

I really love seeing how each stage of my life influences my writing. So many new things are being created – things I actually like. I’ve settled for now to publish prose on Instagram (almost) daily. This is good. It motivates me to write and forces me to edit and keeps up a turnover of words. It’s nice to see writing fitting into my shuffling life of backpacking.

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