Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: journey

Dreamed Into Existence

I admit, I’m having trouble figuring out what to do with myself after the epic trip that was Alaska.

I feel dumbfounded that it happened and that it’s already over. Even though our days felt perfectly planned – I never felt rushed or anxious on the trip – it’s a blur in my memory. Which port did we stop in first? What was the name of our guide for the hike? Where were we when we spotted whales? Which days did we cruise the open sea?

I have a friend named Steve who gets that there’s a lot more to me under the surface of my witty and organized approach to life… he commented on Sunday’s post:

Good to have you back and feeling your feelings and sharing all those seemingly mundane details (chili, reading, roller-hockey and photos) that somehow add up to a satisfying life. Maybe not Alaska, but if you lived in Alaska everyday maybe Alaska wouldn’t be Alaska, either haha. Still great journeys are to be cherished, whether external or internal, and Alaska for you sounds like it was both. Congratulations and welcome back and I’m glad you have your freshly-grown nostalgia to keep you sad and craving. Where would we be without our cravings?

And isn’t he right?

I wrote that post because it is the mundane details that make my life. And it is the details that throw us off when we’re traveling, when we encounter a new place. Like how people in Alaska leave their windshield wipers propped up during a winter day so they don’t freeze onto the window. Or how an older man on the boat told his wife he was ordering “tape-ahs” instead of “tah-pahs”. Or how, even though there was a ridiculous amount of food at the buffet, I was dying for fresh fruit, raw vegetables, and some scrambled egg whites.

This trip was something I dreamed into existence – that I could marry into a family where in-laws would invite me not only on crazy family trips, but to the one place on earth I wanted to visit before I died. To a place where, for no specific reason that I can recall, I’ve been interested obsessed with for 5+ years. Serendipity.

It was a trip 2 years in the making and in a snap of a finger two-weeks time, it’s over.

Maybe Alaska wouldn’t be Alaska if I lived there (though I am romantically consumed by my experience enough to challenge that), I can agree with Steve on this point “Still great journeys are to be cherished, whether external or internal, and Alaska for you sounds like it was both”.

And that’s all I can say right now about how large this whole experience feels – both an external and internal journey – still too much for exact words, as large and vast as the state of Alaska.

How Far I’ve Come – Or How Far I’ve Gone

I’ve been blogging for over a year now, which means that I have archives to go back through.

And what a long, strange trip it’s been.

A year ago, I was panic-stricken daily. Doing the work was a struggle similar to pushing boulders up a mountain, the weight my own assumptions and the mountain my life. Racing thoughts about worthiness, work and being “enough” choked even the smallest activity. The worry of what I should be doing versus what I wanted to be doing paralyzed me. Happiness was a thing that other people had that I didn’t, like a new car or a designer handbag. It was infuriating. I felt so smart, so on top of my shit, and yet didn’t have a fucking clue.

In 8 years, I’d lived in 4 different places, 10 different apartments. I had roommates, I lived alone. I worked in an office, I worked from home. Writing crept in and out of my life. My circle of friends expanded and contracted, new people arriving and others drifting away. My long-distance relationship was many miles and phonecalls and then it was over, he was in my living room. My parents were a plane ride, a 4 hour drive, down a set of steps from me. I read books promising me productivity and happiness. One job was fantastically challenging with a crazy boss and another was completely boring with a nice boss. I worked out, I did yoga, I tried switching between coffee and tea. But nothing, I mean NOTHING helped.

None of it helped because it was all outside of me. I was the one constant and consistent factor. And I couldn’t keep living like that.

Change your thoughts, change your life, right?

It took months, a therapist that led me gently through waves of bewilderment, and allowing myself to go into a space between the life I’d been bending over backwards to have and the life that was right before me. I started making little bets…

Sometimes, in order to find the life you need, you need to leave the life you have – and navigate that uncertain space between. You have to declare yourself. You might have to be solitary for a while. You will encounter doubt and dark nights of the soul (although this would happen anyway). You will have to stand up against conformity and shed your false identity. ~Justine Musk post

I went through all of what Justine talks about in that post, and I’m sure to go through it all again. Such is life, but now I have perspective, I have faith in myself. And I have this deep contented feeling that my life is my own and whatever I’m here to do with it, I know I’ll be led.

I’d lived for so long with a false identity, I didn’t know who I was. And I’m still sweeping the floors and shining the door knobs of my soul, but it’s so lovely to be here on this side of it all. To know how far I’ve come, or really, how far I’ve gone, inside my life, into my own soul, and all I’ve discovered here.