Dear Mediterranean Wanderers
I have never dared share this before. It’s so deeply personal and something that for years imposed itself on me and made me feel so embarrassed about who I was that I felt like a foreigner in my own body. My childhood years were some of the most challenging. I didn’t have a great time at school. I struggled fitting in, felt uncomfortable in my own skin and that regardless of how hard I tried, what I was doing was never good enough.But what I was most ashamed about was my Mediterranean heritage. I hated everything about my Greek ethnicity and wanted desperately to erase it.
Growing up in Australia, everything from my olive skin, boring brown eyes and hearing the sound of my name being called out: Paula, would make me cringe. In the schoolyard, I felt like a blemish against the freckled skin, blue eyes and blonde hair of the majority of kids. I wanted desperately to fit that same mould.
It took me years to realise the reluctance to embrace my Mediterranean heritage meant that I was rejecting myself and my entire self-worth. By resisting my identity, I was trying to erase a big part that made up who I am. Each time I’d cringe when thinking about my heritage, I was apologising for who I was and allowed myself to feel a great sense of inferiority. Rejecting my Mediterranean heritage was about far more than just not feeling comfortable in my own skin, it was a rejection of my own value, the family I was born into, my ancestry, my history. It was a rejection of my entire blueprint. Something that internally made me feel as though I didn’t measure up, that for some reason I wasn’t good enough. It would be years before I’d become comfortable with the foreignness of my ethnic heritage and have the confidence to truly embrace me and finally accept who I was.
Much has happened to that young girl since then. Opportunities to launch into my passion, to reclaim my worth and to follow my heart have led to experiences that allow me to do what I love and pave a path that completely lights me up. I have spent a huge amount of time repairing, recovering and accepting myself and feeling an enormity of pride at my Mediterranean heritage, my ancestry and where I’m from. The value of our worth and who we are is something to honour and recognise within our core, so that we can step forward in life planting solid foundations and allowing the depth of who we are to shine and be heard…
Happy Travels, Paula x
p.s: For those of you feeling frustrated in your personal life, professional life or creative life, who’d would like to crack open and reclaim who you are, who’d like to connect with your passion and inspire more joy in your life, then you may wish to join me this September for the very special Emerge Retreat – A Food, Writing & Creative Escape to the beautiful island of Serifos.Click HERE for more details or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org