I'm a changed person. In some ways I'm more reserved, quieter. In others, I'm much more liberated or liberal. I miss the camaraderie of the Trail, but I also know full well that I never really fit in there either. I miss the simplicity of always knowing I just need to hike North, but I also realize that can't realistically continue forever. Nor do I want that to always be my goal. However, I have no idea where to go from here. It doesn't have to be North. But where? Literally and figuratively.
I feel the pressure to find income. From myself, not so much from others (yet). I'm not completely out of my reserves, but I would like to find a stream of revenue so I could start saving up again for... something. However, I'm pulled between finding "a job" to get money vs. finding something meaningful that will allow me to also pay bills. And also save up for... something.
I find myself pulling away from the familiar. I'm finding that what was comfortable 8 months ago is no longer. The familiar is often UN-comfortable. Things just don't seem as "real." I find myself thinking "how did I get here?" Or more accurately, "how did I get BACK here?"
I think I've always been a free spirit, a bit of a nomad. Most of life has taught me that being free-spirited is a bit selfish and not what a "good girl" should be. But, I also do have a fierce loyalty and a need for deep connection and roots. Can contentment be found where freedom and connection occupy the same place and hold equal value? Can I become truly content with myself? Does that fly in the face of me wanting to overcome my damned self-sufficiency? And does that mean that I will still be alone?
What worked in the past isn't working these days... to distract myself, to find meaning, to bring fulfillment or achievement. So, I need to find what will work. Yes, yes, I know the simple answer is God. Don't worry. That's still firmly in place. I know that God will provide. I know He's here with me now. That makes me smile. And I'm not WORRIED about the future. I just can't see it, can't see my next move, my next blaze. I can't go back, and don't know how to move forward. So, I continue to process.
It's also a comfort to stalk fellow hikers on Facebook and see what they are up to. Many have made HUGE changes to their lives - moved across country, radically changed career paths, or some haven't gone home yet and are still traveling about. Many seem to be in this "in between" place like me. They are back in familiar surroundings, but it feels foreign. They feel a bit lost now that they are no longer wandering. There's a lot of "missing the Trail." I think many are also processing, but having difficulty verbalizing. If I don't have a deep connection with most of my fellow hikers, at least I know I'm not alone in still feeling a bit displaced, comfortable in my own skin but uncomfortable in the clothes I had put on before.
I've been trying to put words around these feelings for almost a month. I haven't done it justice. I've been trying to find the end of this tunnel, so I don't leave anyone reading this at a loss, or feeling like you should be doing something different, or offended or whatever. That is DEFINITELY NOT what this post is about! This is my journey. And although I'm floundering at the moment, there's not a moment I would trade out for something else. I don't regret a moment. I don't enjoy being down, but I know there's an up. After all, the Trail ALWAYS goes up, right? I just gotta keep climbing. The Trail is there, and He always provides.