Friday, October 12, 2018

Camino Blues

I suppose when you return to your most basic instincts, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it’s going to be a bit of a difficult transition back into first world problems. For six weeks, I focused solely on walking my daily twenty plus kilometers, ensuring I had enough food throughout the day and seeking a shelter of a hostel for that evening. And during these KMs, I made such deep connections with people who made lasting impressions on me. Coming to walk the Camino alone and connecting with so many different souls was a game changer. I’ve never endured such a journey with so much solidarity and so much belonging. I suppose this is where the Camino Blues comes from. I thought it would be such an easy transition coming home to the security of my very same job and the comfort of a home town. But to say it’s been difficult is a rather light statement.

I’ve found myself struggling with my emotions just as much as I’ve been struggling with my job and my short / long term goals. As my sister-friend admitted to me the same thing: disconnectedness and complacency have snuck into my work life and subtle about this I have not been. Parts of it have been coming to terms with the fact that I’ve now committed to permanent job which means my travel days are over, at least for a little while. I’m trying to create more of a work balance of current tasks and new responsibilities so I can gain experience and have an easier transition into a higher level HR role for when the opportunity presents itself. But, I’m not feeling at all successful as my administrative duties keep growing as does my displeasure. Don’t get me wrong, there is literally no task beneath me, but if I’m not growing in my position or working towards traveling, I keep asking myself, why am I staying?

As soon as I landed in Canada the Hunter and I hit the ground running, which has paid off well. After several weekends bartering with Mother Nature, hopping that winter doesn’t come too fast so we could paint the Hunter’s fence, addition and complete other touch-ups in preparation for putting it up for sale, his place sold. We need to move out by this Sunday. We’re looking at purchasing some property and I’m pretty sure I’ve found our forever (ummm, five year?) place which we’ll be officially viewing tomorrow (I've crept hard a few times already). Not to sound already too emotionally invested, but I’m completely smitten with. This is a double edged sword, because as you know me, you know that love for adventure. We’ve talked on multiple occasions and assured ourselves that investing in a place doesn’t mean the end to passport stamps; the benefits of the ‘hoof is that everything is very rentable. I also  know that I’m so very ready to cohabitate with this guy. I was ready a the very beginning with our starter canoe expedition and avocado snacks when we first met - he doesn’t need to know this, he'll freak out a little. So, this is yet another box I never thought I’d check off.

I suppose my 800KM walk did more than allow me to ponder and appreciate my current life, it had also forced me to open doors that I’ve always thought were barred windows, which is making me feel vulnerable. I've never imagined I would become career driven and interested in climbing the corporate ladder, and I never thought I would feel so crushed when I was denied that opportunity due to a lack of experience, which I’m still not actually gaining. The desire to purchase a place where I can start canning veggies and set cross country ski tracks on our very own land is a desire that is so foreign and frightening, yet still so strong and enticing. I still want to have my cake and eat it to, and I'm concerned that my intercontinental adventures will get lost in these new found cravings.

Last week the Hunter accused me of not trusting him and this is not the first time he's brought this up. I've purchased another Volkswagon (think leather interior and heated seats) after totaling the last one with a moose. I figure if the first one can withstand such a hit, how can I possibly go wrong? But there was an oil burning smell while it idled. Last night I went for my very last run at my cabin and collided with a neighbor's dog. After calling every mum I knew as I wasn't sure if I needed stitches, I jumped in my car and my oil light screamed at me. My landlord automatically drove me to the hospital where I got a total of 11 band new stitches (a combination of both knees). My mum's bestie, and a very wonderful friend showed up and the three of us chatted with the dreamy surgeon and his bubbly med student while they fixed me. The party in emerg was exactly what I needed. 

So, I don’t trust easily, I'm not sure if it's past issues or this is just how I'm made. Making my own poor life choices is one thing, but relying on someone and trusting them with my well being, even someone who I would happily become left hand heavy with, is something I don’t do well. Walking across Spain alone was easy in a sense because I was making all of my own decisions. I love where my life is going. I love that I'm slowly acquiring a whole other family, and perhaps one day, two more sisters. I sat through a wedding on the Hunter's side and listened to the speech from the notary and soaked it all in. The Hunter told me at the ceremony he said he didn't know if he wanted any of these people to attend his wedding (he wants to elope), and I just kept thinking how our celebration, whatever that may be, would be outdoors, sloppy and full of our favorite people.

The thing is, I was so sure on living my life with one set standard and I think that's slowly evolving. I'm becoming someone I never thought I would be, or more importantly, never thought I'd want to be, and it's horrifying how much eagerly I aware these altering priorities and physical changes, but it's intimidating at the same time. I'm terribly indecisive, but I know where my next continent will be and I know the Hunter will be coming along for the ride. It's the in-between that is scaring the shit out of me. So, I suppose I’m feeling rather vulnerable letting my newfound heart strings decide rather than my logical head.

My cousin's Facebook post asked:

What advice would twenty year old you give yourself?
What advice would you give your twenty year old self?

And a quote came to me: Life goes by fast. Enjoy it. Calm down. It's all funny.

Could it really be that simple?


A girl growing roots.