I am less than 3 hours from the first stop on my big adventure. I’ve been in anticipation of this trip for longer than it’s been planned, but the past few days I fell into a dark place and came this close to canceling the whole thing. Let me explain…
As I mentioned in my last post, A Fresh Perspective on Exercise, I struggle with anxiety. I have off and on for the better part of my life. It’s genetic in my family history. I keep fighting because I don’t want to be controlled by a pill…or my thoughts. –For the record, I am in no way judging those that use modern medicine to help regulate everything, because I understand it’s necessary to combat with a chemical imbalance (my sister is a pharmacist, after all). I have since added a significant amount of exercise to my life in hopes to help regulate my own imbalances, especially with the increase in hormones that now course through my body (TMI–but a girl who dreams of traveling has to take necessary precautions!)
All of this to say, about 5 days ago I hit a wall. I had felt the anxiety building a few days prior, but just tried to keep moving forward with my preparations. This trip is the biggest adventure I’ve attempted and though it’s something I love to do, it’s still out of my comfort zone and new to me.
“Do what scares you”. is what I keep reminding myself. I know that sounds crazy, but my biggest payoffs always tend to be when I take the biggest leaps (I’m sure by now I sound like a broken record with that statement).
Back to my wall. What set me off was my boyfriend leaving for his trip. I am so lucky to be with someone who completely supports my dreams and encourages me to reach higher. Someone who picks me up when I am down, even through the distance. Someone who believes in me, when I do not believe in myself. I’ve spent the last 6 months falling head over heels in love with this man and we have only been apart a total of 4 consecutive days since we started dating. The thought of spending at least 4 weeks apart suddenly set in and took my breath away (NOT in a good way). I found myself in panic mode. That then sent me into a tailspin of confronting all the thoughts and emotions that had been bubbling, but I hadn’t had the time to really take in and deal with.
- That transition thing I was talking about in this post, is even stronger now. Though I have a direction, staying self-motivated is hard when there is no immediate reward (or money) and the reward has to come from within myself. “Keep pushing.”
- The negative thoughts started outweighing the positive, by far, as my purpose in life felt blurry. Basically, I started having control issues with myself. “I am NOT in control of the future.”
- Living in the moment is hard. It just is. “Be. Here. Now”
- Every little challenge I faced, seemed to be a reason why I SHOULDN’T take the trip. “Makin’ mountains out of mole hills”
- I keep getting told what an amazing thing it is that I am doing, following my heart, and how I am doing things that people only ever dream of. From that, this extraordinary opportunity has suddenly felt like a large burden. I am SUCH a people pleaser and the idea of letting anyone down started to feel suffocating. I want to inspire. I want to make people crave travel and trying new things the same way I do. I want people to realize their potential and know that they are just as worthy of happiness as anyone. And more than anything, I want people to understand they are capable of changing their own perspective to create a better life. How can I possibly do those things if I continue to struggle myself?
Then I remembered…I am trying. Yes, I may have been completely bogged down and felt hopeless for the past few days, but I somehow managed to push through (a big thanks to my friends and family for being so encouraging while I kept wallowing in full realization I had NO REASON to be wallowing). I knew that all that ‘pain’ I was feeling was going to make me stronger. It’s just like building physical strength. You have to push your body to move and do things that may not feel comfortable to get stronger. You get sore and you have to chose to keep pushing or quit. If you don’t quit, you keep building and get stronger and stronger. I’d say this weekend was the ‘sore’ feeling after taking this leap into the unknown. I had the choice to follow through and keep going or quit.
So here I am. Sitting on a plane, about to be in Vancouver. I know I will be stronger. I know my relationship(s) will be stronger. I know that I will have a new perspective when I get back home. I know I will love it once I get there. I just have to do it.
As for my first leg of this journey….
It only seems appropriate that I would begin my big adventure in Canada. Last summer I learned SO MUCH about myself, and you can read all about it here, (in case you missed it!) Especially after these last few “Debbie Downer” days, I have a feeling that Canada will be a nice reminder of why I chose this new lifestyle. Being around the people that helped me learn I could trust my gut instinct, will just be the icing on the cake! I look forward to reuniting with the friends I made and seeing what beautiful British Columbia looks like in the Winter! Ironically, the weather is much better up there than it is in Nashville, so that will be a nice change as well!
This time I will be spending a couple of nights in a hostel in Van City (first time doing that!), then heading over to Nanaimo for a few more days before returning to Vancouver to fly out to Hawaii! Of course, I will keep you posted along the way. Make sure to be following me through social media (if I ever get my phone back up and working again…)
Until next time…