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Brooke Castillo

Defining Ourselves


I’ve never realized how much we define ourselves by where we are from and how we live.

Since I have been traveling and homeless, this has become more obvious.

Where are you from? What do you do? is constantly being asked.

I used to be a woman who lived in suburbia El Dorado Hills. Soccer mom. Yogi. Work from homer. Saw my friends by making a phone call.

Is that who I was and am? Yes.  Love it.

But when routines aren’t there to lean on, and the coffee pot isn’t in the same place, and my clothes are wrinkled and few, I hardly recognize myself.

I’m doing things “I” don’t do.  I’m spending way more time with my kids, way more time driving and talking to Chris, way more time meeting new people and way more time packing and unpacking.

What I have realized is that traveling requires me to be much more conscious.

I was afraid it would keep me so busy I wouldn’t have time to be conscious, but that has not been the case.  Consciousness has been required.

I have to think about money because we are spending in a new way. I have to think about each day and where I will be and how I will do it. I have to think carefully about my kid’s education because I am providing it.

It feels like a wake up call. Lack of change allows us to slip into unconscious routine that ends up defining us.

Where we live, play, eat and sleep becomes the foundation of our daily  lives.  It shouldn’t be something we default to unconsciously, it should be something we choose consciously and reevaluate often.