The Freedom Experiment

The Freedom Experiment

Everything is possible

You Are Where You Need to Be

By Camille Willemain

Growing Up - 01

I’m sitting in bed in my bungalow in Bali, alone.

Growing Up - 02

The sun is shining and the turquoise sea just beyond my porch glitters beneath a cliff backed golden sand bay.

Growing Up - 03

I am unbelievably blessed to be here, on possibly the most coveted island in the world, with no attachments or responsibilities, and the freedom to do anything that I want.

Growing Up - 04

But what I want to do is hide under my covers and cry.

Growing Up - 05

I have no return ticket home, no home to return to, and I spent the last of my savings to leave Cambodia and come to Bali to reunite with the first man I allowed myself to be vulnerable with in years.

Growing Up - 06

He leaves in three hours for another continent, but mentally and emotionally he was never even here.

Growing Up - 07

My disappointment is palpable.

Growing Up - 08

I feel foolish for straying from my plan to see him one last time.

I question if I made a mistake in finally letting my guard down.

I worry that my lifestyle leads me to men laden with limits.

Growing Up - 09

In this scenario where everything that surrounds me is foreign

Growing Up - 10

emotionally it feels painfully familiar.

Growing Up - 11

Resisting releasing something I already know I don’t want in my life.

Growing Up - 12

Seeking fulfillment for my needs from someone else instead of empowering myself.

Growing Up - 13

Accepting less than what I deserve because something seems like a better offer than nothing.

Growing Up - 14

Occupying my mind so entirely with another person that I become distracted from who I am and what I want.

Growing Up - 16


after two years of traveling the world on my own

Growing Up - 17

hiking through the South American jungle

sailing to deserted islands in Southeast Asia

Growing Up - 18

riding on rickety buses across Nicaragua, Panama, Cambodia, and Morocco

taking countless cold showers

Growing Up - 19

communicating in foreign languages

and sleeping in dorm rooms with complete strangers

Growing Up - 20

am I back to being the girl who bases her confidence on how much attention she gets from a guy?

Growing Up - 21

Haven’t I grown beyond this?

Growing Up - 22

Are you ever

where I am now?

Growing Up - 23

Back in a place you thought you outgrew?

Re-enacting the patterns of your past?

Being the person you swore you would never be again?

Growing Up - 24




Growing Up - 25



Growing Up - 26


how did I get back here?

Growing Up - 27


if you were actually


Growing Up - 15


or happier?

Growing Up - 28


if you were just coasting

until a difficult moment

Growing Up - 29


how flawed and broken

you still are?


that you will never

get back

to feeling

Growing Up - 31



and content?

Growing Up - 32


that you didn’t

grow up

after all?

Growing Up - 33

Right now, my mind is cluttered with these ideas.

Growing Up - 34

But the healthy, happy me

buried beneath the insecurity and the fear


Growing Up - 35

that those negative, destructive thoughts




Growing Up - 36

Because growing up doesn’t mean always being your “best” self.

Growing Up - 37

It doesn’t mean never being sad, angry, imbalanced, lost, insecure, or what some people might even call “crazy.”

Growing Up - 38

It doesn’t mean being protected by an ego that the cruelest words can’t crush.

Growing Up - 39

It doesn’t mean having all of the answers

Growing Up - 40

and it certainly doesn’t mean never making mistakes.

Growing Up - 41

Growing up means gaining the awareness

to recognize

Growing Up - 42

what makes you feel good

what doesn’t

and why.

Growing Up - 43

It means shifting

your self talk

to a dialogue

Growing Up - 44

that makes you feel


and loved.

Growing Up - 45

It means accepting

that you cannot control the way that others treat you

Growing Up - 46

but you can absolutely control

the way that you treat yourself.

Growing Up - 47

It means recognizing

the impermanence

of everything

Growing Up - 48

experiencing the darkness


that one day


you will feel light.

Growing Up - 49

It means empowering


with the responsibility

to choose happiness

Growing Up - 50

whether that means

being patient in discomfort

or making a move

that completely

changes your life.

Growing Up - 51

It means having

the willingness

and the courage

to let go.

Growing Up - 52

So right now

I am quieting my inner judgments

and I am amplifying my voice that says:

Growing Up - 53

Hang in there babe

you are strong.

Growing Up - 54

Believe in your dreams

they are inevitable.

Growing Up - 55

Everything will be ok

because everything is already ok.

Growing Up - 56

You are worth mountains and oceans

no matter how others treat you

or how small you feel.

Growing Up - 57

Where you are today is perfect

because it is where you need to be

to get to tomorrow.

Growing Up - 58

In honor of the person I am today

I am getting out of bed

I am walking down to the sea

Growing Up - 59

and I am watching the dramatic progression of the sunset


Growing Up - 60

Wherever you are

on your journey

Growing Up - 61

in a moment of glittering bliss

in a moment of deep dark pain

on the brief, vast, varying spans between

Growing Up - 62

feel it

cherish it

and know

Growing Up - 63

it’s all just part

of growing up.


After losing her day job, Camille Willemain sold all of her belongings, abandoned her unhealthy relationship, and flew to Costa Rica on a one way ticket. Today she lives nomadically, traveling the world alone and writing about her adventures and self growth on her blog This American Girl.