I wish I could describe to you all in most perfect words what is going on inside of me. I wish I could explain to myself what is going on inside of me. Truth is, friends, I don’t know, and I am more than okay with it.
I was doing a thing last week and I was asked a question. The Person looked me in the eyes and asked me if I was scared. There was no hesitation in my answer; I gave myself no time to think about it. “Terrified.” I told them. I was. I didn’t think that it wouldn’t be a good answer, because who likes to admit to being afraid. That question stuck with me and has been replaying often in my mind, over and over.
I gave the Person some additional information after answering that I was terrified. I told them my fear is why I was there. That when I think about things and if they scare me, they are most likely worth doing. Now that I have had a week to think about it, I think it may have been the answer to everything lately.
I. Am. Terrified.
I watched “The Way” with K yesterday. It’s a movie about a man who travels Camino de Santiago. Maybe about a month or so ago, I discovered this and brought it to K. I told her we should do it; we decided in 7 years because that would be the next holy year and it would give us time to save and prepare. We watched the movie and there was a line that got me (the whole movie got me, but right in the beginning, I knew it would impact me). It was simple. “You don’t chose a life, you live a life.”
The walk could be done for religious reasons, or personal. It could be none or both, but I hear it changes you. There have always been things I planned, things that may not have happened, or things that didn’t quite happen the way I had planned them, but this cannot be one of them. It’s almost like a calling.
I can’t tell you every story of my life, because we don’t have enough time, and I don’t think you would want to know everything, but I know the day that I lost my religion. I was in a bind, as I usually end up being in, and was faced with one of the most difficult choices of my life. I knew I was standing at a moment that would pave a road, and I wanted an answer, a sign. I wanted something to help me make my decision. I went at night, in the rain, to the closest church. I wanted to sit in the church, have a conversation with God, ask for help. The doors were locked. It’s hard even as I type this, friends. It’s so hard. I felt alone, and abandoned. I felt that my answer was in those locked doors. God had turned away and told me I couldn’t go into His house anymore.
I made my choices; I chose my life. I didn’t walk back into a church for 8 years. Goodness, I was so afraid. I was afraid I would be struck down, or that everyone would know. They would all know that I was turned away on a rainy night and branded. They would give me looks, and tell me to leave. I had Girl2 with me. She was the only thing that could have gotten me back into a church.
They didn’t kick me out, look at me funny, or shun me. I nervously sat through, waiting for the moment to come where it would happen, but it never did.
I honestly don’t know where I stand with it all now, but I can tell you that I am having a strong sense of life change moments lately. The decision to plan this walk is one. My weekends being spent having more life; it may seem small, like small things, but I am reconnecting out there in nature. I told K she was the only one who I would be able to make the camino with. She is the one who would accept my silence, just as she does when we are caching. I can have my inner moments, and she gets that. When I have been out there, on the trails, in the woods, I am reconnecting with myself. I say I am caching, but I really am breathing in the air, seeing the trees, listening to the river. I am finding peace and myself.
I don’t know what I believe anymore. I have my logic, and it serves me fine. I can’t help but think there is something though. There has to be something out there, that puts us in places, at the right times. That something silently guides us along, watches our mistakes, lets us learn our lessons. It puts the people in our lives, and also takes them out of them. There has been so much lately that seems like things are happening and rather than be a spectator, I need to be in it. I need to stop choosing my life and start living it. It may be small things, like spending the morning out in the woods, or taking a weekend for the beach, but it is really me saying that it’s time.
I am scared. It’s hard to take those steps, to face your fears. I remember when I was little and watching The Neverending Story. Atreyu reached the Southern Oracle and he had to face himself. I couldn’t understand how that would be such a big deal, how it could be hard to face yourself. Oh, was I wrong.
K and I were talking to The Boy, and he had made a comment on how he wanted to have his life figured out at 20. We laughed, not at home, but rather at the fact that we were probably once young and thought we would have everything figured out at 20. I am less than one week away from 37 and I am nowhere closer to having it figured out than I was 17 and sitting at her kitchen table playing cards.
I honestly don’t know how this all comes together, friends. It’s one of those days that I can feel it; the mystical strings pulling me along, the sense that there is more meaning than what I am doing now. The sense that I need to reconnect to myself and make changes. I need to be connected, not just to myself, but those I love as well. It isn’t enough to go through the motions, you have to be present, to make memories.
I am terrified and that’s okay. I am giving myself permission to make mistakes, to learn, and to live. I am living my life and giving myself permission to not beat myself up for the things I don’t have control over. I am going to start mentally and physically preparing for my road ahead. I may even start to accept the fact that maybe I am not as shunned as I believe myself to be.