For the most part, I have always ran away from things. Commitment, feeling uncomfortable, things that seem like they’ll be too much work or break my heart. I’ve always kept myself busy with all these distractions so that I didn’t have to feel, or deal with the leftover emotions of some past experience that I hadn’t truly dealt with. Sometimes I consciously did this, most of the time my brain just went into defence for me. If I ran from the things that scared me the most, I’d be fine. I wouldn’t have to try that hard, feel that much or lose anything.
It wasn’t until this last year that I finally learnt what it meant to run towards something.
I had booked my ticket for Nicaragua and in my head I was gone forever, never coming back. Basically the same mindset I’ve had before every trip. But the universe had a different plan. This trip turned into everything I did not want it to be. I was so sick right from day one. The sickness was debilitating for the first couple of days and it really just forced me to sit and be in my own head. It was like the universe had finally had enough of my shit and said, “well, if you’re going to continue to acknowledge and then ignore me, I am going to slap you across the face with every last thing all at once. Good luck, chica”.
So, what did I do? I powered thru at least 5 books, started a new online course and just kept myself as busy as I could for the first week or so. And then it got worse. So much worse. At this point, my hormones were all over the map so I was emotional beyond belief and couldn’t function long enough to do anything anyways. I was in a very dark place and knew in my heart the only way out was to let this shit come up and do it’s thing.
Experiences, thoughts and emotions started to flood up like I’ve never experienced before. There was moments of pure self-hate and loathing. There was more doubt, guilt and shame than I ever knew possible. Never in my life had I been so awful to myself but it was time to acknowledge every single part of me that I hated. That word is strong and so ugly, it works perfectly. I didn’t even have a choice of when the tears would come at this point, they fell hard and heavy whenever they pleased. Something as simple as dropping a spoon would send me into a tailspin. For the first time in my life I acknowledged out loud that I was scared to death of where I was in my life and having no idea what I wanted next. This trip was supposed to change everything. I was supposed to be happy. I was supposed to never, ever have to go back home again. Things were supposed to be different.
I didn’t tell anyone when I arrived home. I went straight to my parents and I curled up with the dog and just felt sorry for myself. I stayed there for a week, ignoring every text, email or call that came thru. I knew I wasn’t ready to come out of the dark just yet. The were more demons in needing of slaying, and for once I was ok with that.
When the clouds started to lift and the dust seemed to settle a little, my old trustworthy habit of alright-we’re-good-let’s-get-busy-so-we-don’t-have-to-think came creeping back up. Physically, I was feeling a lot better. The sickness was almost gone and I was slowly recovering. But mentally, that was a different story. I was thinking of every single possible way to get back to busy and distract myself again. Maybe I’ll go back to school? Maybe I could do this? How about that workshop? The universe was having absolutely none of that! I left a job that I really, really disliked but only stayed because of the money (that’s the materialistic Taurus in me I guess…). Walking out of the building was the feeling I needed to spark everything and reignite my soul. I literally felt my tension headache release, the headache obviously caused by how much I was dreading going back there. Everything just felt lighter.
I went home and just sat there. I had a huge, genuine, smile on my face for the first time in a long time and my heart was feeling a little warmer. As I sat there, it dawned on me that I was absolutely 100% starting over. For the first time in my life, I was offered a Second Chance card. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my life and have the most amazing people and would never trade it for anything. But there was an authenticity missing. There was a truth that I was still hiding. So this was it. This was the universe screaming at me to let all that shit go. Say goodbye to the old and run into the new with opens arms.
I went hiking in the mountains almost every day, spent time with people that truly fed my soul, but most importantly I spent time on my own. I spent time reconnecting and being honest with myself. What needed to go, where could I create space in order to make room for everything that needed to flow in and out of my life? I let myself be selfish, I said no to things I would have typically just grinned and bared, I napped whenever I felt like it! I finally took self-love and the ritual of self-care seriously. It became more than a buzzword or hashtag for Instagram. It became so sacred and completely necessary that I’m not even sure what it was that I was doing for myself before all of this. Vulnerability took on a whole new meaning. I no longer just acknowledge that I have a lesson to learn or that something within needs to be dealt with and made room for. I am now showing up in such a way that the ugliness and darkness of whatever it is that may be my truth for the moment no longer scares me, it excites me. It excites me to know that through all of this I am growing in a way that is actually authentic and real for me now. It’s no longer about being the perfect yogi or seeking enlightenment. It’s about living this life for me and waking up every single day so damn excited for what’s to come that I can’t stop smiling. Tears are still falling but there is now this lightness in them that allows me to see them for what they really are, and sometimes they’re just falling because they can.
In all of this, I had no idea I was creating space for the biggest adventure of my life. By finally letting go of all of this shit, all of this “should” nonsense that our society has so politely imposed on us, I am free. I am free to be honest with my heart and have the confidence to tell my friends and family that I am leaving. I am leaving on a journey that I have absolutely no idea what is in store. A journey that involves selling every last thing that I own, packing a backpack and buying a one way ticket. A journey that could take me a thousand different places and I may never find one to “settle down” in, or it could lead me directly home. This journey involves as little planning as possible because the universe is taking the wheel on this one. Some people say I’m absolutely crazy but the people who know me best and love me most won’t let me stay here a minute longer than I have to. The support and encouragement that has been flowing has made me realize just how lucky I really am. There’s no guilt or making me feel like I’m abandoning them. No one has made me feel like I’m running away; for the first time, I am running full tilt towards the rest of my life.
Be well & Live loud, Amanda