Life

I Am That Woman

I am that woman.

The one who doesn’t just do things even though they terrify her, but because they terrify her. The one who goes rock-climbing and rappels off cliffs no matter how scared she is of heights, the one who craves the shaking hands and choppy laughter with the realization, “Holy shit, I did it,” against all odds. I am that woman who pursues not only her dreams but her fears.

I am that woman.

The one who buys a plane ticket at 10:00 at night for a flight that leaves tomorrow afternoon, with no clean clothes or any idea what there is to do at that particular place. The one who buys plane tickets to a different country for three-day-weekends to someplace she’s never thought of traveling: who says yes to the adventure without worrying about the destination. I am that woman who doesn’t need permission to “go.” I am that woman whose permission is that she is alive and there is breath in her lungs.

I am that woman.

The one that will always be met with, “When did you go there? I just saw you last month!” Greeted with, “Where in the world are you now?” The one whose people’s eyes will always widen at when she says she went alone. I am that woman who is bid goodbye with the hope that she always returns. I am the woman that never, ever really returns.

I am that woman.

The one who somehow lives in both her daydreams and memories and also completely in the present. Who carries with her the new stories, perspectives, and vivid imagery from all of the places she’s been with her in day to day life, making it much more interesting than it would be otherwise.

I am that woman.

The one who will always be begged to stay. The one who will get a thousand love poems but want to write her own book, who will get hundreds of flowers but want to plant her own garden. Who will go out with handsome men, but instead of gaze at them will turn away and daydream toward the horizon. I am that woman, the one who will never, ever stay.

I am that woman.

The one who is always perceived as running away from something, because so few know what it’s like to be in constant pursuit of your dreams. I am the woman who is always running toward something, who doesn’t need you to catch her and would prefer if you didn’t. Because whether she’s falling or flying, whether intentional or accidental destination, when she arrives will soak up everything it has to offer. I am that woman who craves an intimate experience with everything around her.

I am that woman.

The one who prefers randomly strewn rocks in a river as stepping stones getting her where she wants to go instead of a man-made ladder and blueprint. I am the woman who would rather sleep in a hammock and wake up to lions roaring than breakfast in bed at a five-star resort. I am that woman that identifies with the wild because she is aware of, proud of, and celebrates her primal self.

I am that woman.

The one feasting over rice and beans in hostels with strangers as if it’s a gourmet meal, laughing and dancing in the streets with old men to salsa and merengue, sun-burned and salty-haired while drinking rum on the beach with pirates. I am the woman who rides a horse bareback in a swimsuit down the surf at sunset. I am the woman who lives without boundaries.

I am that woman.

The one who sees couples in airports and wishes she had a partner to see the world with but knows that instead of sitting around in the meantime, she will do as much of it by herself that she wants. The woman that makes friends wherever she goes, who gets lonely sometimes but pushes through to do what she wants to do. I am that woman who, no matter the circumstances, honors commitments with her dreams, her life, and herself.

I am that woman.

The one who lives in the proud pronouncement of herself and who she is. I am the woman who lives the words, “OWN YOUR JOURNEY” and tells her story with purpose and duty. The one who wears her life proudly in her scars and tattoos, the intensity in her eyes, the conviction in her voice, the reverb in her steps, the power in her posture. I am the woman who has owned her journey.

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I've traveled six continents solo, and killed cancer last week. Follow Courtney Elizabeth on Instagram or read more articles from Courtney Elizabeth on Thought Catalog.