I am an emotional human. I attach myself easily to people and to places (although I hide it well, it takes a lot for me to show my vulnerable side), and although I consider myself a minimalist – every so often I attach myself to things (currently my bike.) That being said, while I would consider myself good at enacting change in my life (usually impetuously), I also struggle immensely with change.
OK, but who doesn’t?
I think my biggest hurdle when it comes to change is that I like control and certainty. When making decisions I have a hard time feeling fully confident in the choices I make, because I easily panic wondering if I made the right decision. Truth be told I don’t really believe there is a right or wrong decision, there is just “a decision” and life follows accordingly. Certainty is almost never an option.
Life adjusts to the paths we choose.
I have learned a lot about myself in the last year, specifically in the last handful of months. I started a brief, but helpful counseling routine from March-July and while my journey is no where near complete it was a nice introduction into some deeeeeeep work that needs to be done. I also discovered some truths about myself during the three month Corona quarantine, when my life of non stop travel was brought to an abrupt, but necessary halt.
Traveling has become a huge part of my life in the last decade, and it wasn’t until recently that I discovered while traveling is amazing – it can also be a bandaid. The moment I get antsy or feel the discomfort of stillness (aka prime time to sit with emotions) I do something drastic. Travel has been one of many ways I continue running from emotional traumas I have been running from since before I can remember.
This is not to say traveling isn’t also a way to heal, it has been extremely liberating to embark on some of the adventures I have embarked on, but there is such thing as too much travel.
I have somewhat unknowingly been carrying a lot of emotional baggage throughout my life, stemming back to my childhood. My last relationship triggered some deep rooted abandonment issues and I am now noticing how some of my behaviors the last few years have been a result of these stuffed emotions. The human body is an amazing machine, and does what it needs to in order to feel safe, but eventually the storms need to be faced.
Trauma is not something you can outrun, it must be worked through, felt, acknowledged, and honored before the energy in your body can be released.
Every single one of us as humans have some type of stored trauma in our bodies. And so many of us suffer with similar emotional setbacks. I have found myself not allowing enough down time to actually process my emotions, and I am constantly running from one thing to the next. So often we are told to quiet our emotions, don’t show weakness, if it wasn’t a physical abuse it wasn’t a big deal, emotional abuse isn’t as serious…
I’m here to tell you it’s serious.
While I am farther than I was yesterday, and the day before, I am painfully aware that I need to press the pause button on life.
What a better time than now to do this, while the world is quite literally in a moment of pause (or at least it should be.) My life in Germany has been a whirlwind. I have done so many things while moving at a speed my body way never meant to keep up with. I have lived so much life in such a short period of time, but along the way I started to loose my balance. My footing became wobbly, like walking on loose gravel.
I’ve found myself in a limbo where it feels like I am falling and the floor underneath me is no where to be seen.
My health has taken a backseat and this high paced lifestyle is no longer serving me. To be honest it never really was. I so desperately want to live a life in Europe, and I have stuck with a job that has robbed me of my sanity and my peace. I am in desperate need of a rest, and a reset. It has been a difficult decision, but it’s time for me to return to Washington, press the pause, and reevaluate what I want in my life.
I have come up with a few things I hope I can enforce as non negotiables moving forward.
- Stillness – I need time in each day where I wake up without having to rush off to a job where my nervous system is bombarded with action for 8 hours straight. My autoimmune disease flares when my body is stressed.
- Community – while honoring my needs of being alone, I must prioritize fostering a FEW deep, core throbbing friendships. Loneliness leads to unhealthy coping behaviors.
- Balance – this is my favorite word for a reason, my life needs a balance in what I eat, how I move, and how I share my time.
- Boundaries – I struggle with boundaries. I give my all when I don’t have my all to give. I don’t speak up when my voice needs to be heard. I know what I need to feel balance, and I need to ensure I set these boundaries.
- Adventure – I need the right mix of adventure and reality. Time to sit with my thoughts, but also time to see the world at a much slower pace.
- Healing – I want to feel my emotions more. I want to feel sad, I want to feel happy, I want to feel despair, I want to feel joy, I want to FEEL. The only way out is through.
- Bravery – I muuussssttt get over my anxiety surrounding meeting new people. The only boundary I’ve enforced has gone too far the wrong way and the walls surrounding me are sky high.
I am devastated to be leaving Garmisch, this place has become my home and the mountains surrounding me have become my therapy space. I feel pain and sorrow thinking about no longer living near the bike paths that have lifted me up when I was falling apart. Part of me feels like I am giving up, but at the end of the day I don’t want to settle. I don’t have a clear vision of what the right decision is, but I do know I need to pause.
My body has been screaming at me to do something different for months. It’s both a blessing and a curse to be so in tune with my physical body.
I have been living in a cyclical cycle of ups and downs for nearly a decade, and I am finally realizing why there has been no significant break in this loop. I run to the next adventure hoping it will heal my wounds, when I am the only one who can. So while I might feel unsure of what the right decision is, I am choosing to trust in the process of life. My need for control stems from a need to feel safe, but at the end of the day I will never have full control. Only God has that power.
All I can do is choose to sink or swim while my life plays itself out.
I have one month left in Garmisch, and I will be moving to Washington at the end of September. I don’t know if I will ever feel total peace about it, but each day I challenge myself to get further away from my black and white thinking. When I came here I was only planning to stay for 15 months, and here we are almost two years later.
I will live in Europe again, but I will have a better lifestyle more conducive to my needs. I need to remind myself that although I love this area, my life as a whole is not in a sustainable balance. I could have sought out another job, but at the end of the day I ain’t living the life I need or want right now, and it’s time to face the music that is emotional healing. Healing leads to change, and change is a beautiful thing.
Besides, it’s also time to see my family after a lonnnggg time away. My cat has no idea the storm that’s coming his way. (Me, I am the storm.)
Q: How do you make difficult decisions?