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I am sitting at my desk in Princeton, unapologetically blogging on my travel blog.  I recently finished some recent engagement sessions and weddings on my wedding blog, Ted Nghiem Photography Blog.

Yesterday, I came back from a coffee date, (I hope she gets back to me for lunch!) and had me thinking about.. what’s next in my life.  Well actually she asked where am I planning to go check out next.. but I think the question was leading to what’s next in my life.  The answer to the question of where?  AUSTRALIA!  I would love to check out the land down under!

But to the question implied.

I love where my wedding images are going, there is still much more room to improve and experiment.  As I was also thinking on my flight down to Vietnam, have I gotten over my reticence?  My brother and sister in law would say, I don’t climb out of my “box” very often.

I find myself slowly breaking out of the box, so there is still progress.  The traveling and meeting new people on my journeys have helped me tremendously in breaking out of the shell.  Still, at 29, I am still shy and extremely nervous in social settings.  It’s pretty embarrassing to admit this.  As adventurous I can be, trying out new places, traveling by myself, I still have a fear of verbally communicating with others.

Being a little scattered in my thoughts doesn’t help either…

I remember growing up being mostly ignored by my peers, so, the progress of turning inward grew.  The few childhood friends who accepted me and let me be me, I have remained in touch and love deeply. It didn’t help that the belief that I grew up with reinforced the non-social.  I quit that belief system a couple years ago after a life altering wake up call.  One thing that I have never been open with others was that, it was a cult and that cult made an attempt to force me into a faux marriage.  So yes, I was in a cult.  It was something I grew up with, so as a child it was hard to not go through with what the parents wanted.

Luckily, two of my older brothers and I jumped ship and regained control of our own destinies and paths in life.  But, my other brother is out there with them.  And.  This pains me the most as it is one of the things that I just could not get over, and still can’t.  It was my brother who contacted me to go over there.  Long story short, he told me that I would be photographing something for the group.  But when I got there it was trying to get me to marry someone from abroad so they could stay in America.

It has been 4 years, come this December, from that event.  My brother Eric and I laugh about it now, to try to get over it.  But, the realization of the lost years of dedication to that belief really sucked.

Back on the point, I am trying out different things and doing things to break out of my self-created box.  It’s hard but a necessary step.

So what’s next in my life?  The additional steps to break my shadow.