Inside the mind

Inside the mind

Breath in strength. Exhale Fear


No one tells you how hard it really is. All the blog reading in the world doesn't talk about what you really have to do. Everyone out there talks about how amazing it is: pack a bag, go see, face your fear, just do it. Be a traveler not a tourist.
        People don't want to admit that you unavoidably will try to chicken out a good 5 times, maybe more. No one writes about what it really is like to leave everything you know for a cracked out dream you've had 11 years ago. It's a little harder said than done.
        Packing everything up, "getting it done" I went into auto mode. There was a numbness to it all. Just another deadline I had to hit. Just another item in the to-do list that seemed to have no end. But it had an end. It was going to end. Hell or high-water April 26th 2015 was going to come. All packed up, or not, apartment cleaned or not, April 26 was steadily approaching.
        The last week was a blur. An overwhelming fear would hit in the morning as I lay safe and warm inside the now mattress on the floor. We had kept the comfort of two comforters and no less than 10 pillows for one last week of decadence. The alarm would hit and in the morning light I would turn over and see Jonathan sleeping and a fear would settle in the pit of my stomach. What had I done? I had a job, an apartment, a loving boyfriend, friends, comfort, comfort, comfort. For gods sake I was sleeping in a pillow top mattress, topped with a memory foam pad, incased in a fluffy mattress cover, with ten pillows, all which had a specific purpose AND two comforters! Now I was supposed to somehow live in a tent/ hostel/ sleeping pad somewhere for the next 6 months as I carried with me my entire life in 65L in 4 bike panniers as we crossed more land by bicycle I have even driven through in a CAR! Yeah that stroke some fear in me.
        Somehow I would get up, breath, look at a purple post it on my now bare walls that Jonathan had left weeks ago that said "We can do this." That little piece of paper helped me survive that last week. It wasn't the comfort of the paper but in the WE. We can do this. Not we could do this, we CAN do this. We were doing it. We were doing it together. I had to carry my own weight. I couldn't afford to crack that last week. It was too much to ask that of him. And so the little purple post it cheered me on.
        Go get this, settle that, call this place, do, act, get it done.  Don't think, don't feel. We would ask each other how we were feeling, if it had hit us yet. The answer was always no. With no emotional breath to dig into ANYTHING that related to this, it was hard to muster up emotions. It was hard to comprehend this. To really feel it because I have never done this! It felt like I was just moving apartments. Jonathan and I were just going to go on a quick vacation somewhere and come back and get an apartment. I would see my friends in a couple of weeks and tell them about a night here, an adventure there, nothing too excessive. We were just packing up for a quick vacation only to resume our lives shortly after and have it all continue in the 10 pillow splendor as before.
        That is not what was going on. I was not going on a quick vacation. I was not just going to come home and see my friends in a few days. I was not going to have the comfortable life I had been living any time soon. Yet the numbness was all that I allowed myself to feel. Too precarious a time to feel feelings. Except they eventually came...
        The car was sold. The living room scattered with random stuff. The walls bare. The closet empty. My room a white ghost of a life I was leaving. We slept on our mattress pads and sleeping bags the night before. No more double comforter bed, no more comfort. Still had items left on the to do list. Jonathan left early to get a haircut. He came back with Starbucks coffee and bagels. One last comfort of a known life. We sat on the floor and then they came. As a torrent I couldn't stop. Just thinking about it I still feel my jaw clench and hold back tears. I cried. I let go. The numbness, the wall had finally given in. There was no stopping. I had held long enough to get me here just a hours before leaving and now the feelings were taking over their unclaimed territory. Bagel in had, sitting on the floor, in my underwear and t shirt with my lovely boyfriend with a supercuts military style buzzcut I let go. I let go and then realized what I had done, there was no stoping this. I had unleashed the cracken and now I was at it's mercy. At the mercy of my feelings, at the mercy of this adventure, at the mercy of the time I had before it was really all here.

"Breath in strength,exhale fear. Breath in strength, exhale fear" I told my self in between gaping breaths and tears. "Breath in strength, exhale fear" As I saw the bare walls of my room and realized there was no turning back. I started to ask myself if I wanted to stay. I pictured it. How similar it looked, how all the feelings of being stuck and not following my dreams were still there. "Breath in strength, exhale fear" I repeated as I made a mental checklist of what I could do. I could stay. I could say no. That scared me more. Seeing that very easy possibility to stay exactly how I was, 10 pillows and all, was scarier than the 65L I'd call home for the next 6 months.

Breath in strength. Exhale fear. I breathed in enough to stand up and keep going, because staying was scarier that the unknown.