I believed for a while that the most difficult decision I’d ever make in this life, and the most courage I’d dare exhibit were ensconced in the choice to give it “all” up and travel around the world. I had not, it’s now quite clear, taken into consideration my journey home.
I certainly didn’t think it would be easy breezy to waltz back into a stationary life, move to a city that’s never felt quite like my own, delve into an existence where a home, a job, and a life that I’d built with my own devices had disintegrated. It’s been an emotional haul to a degree I just hadn’t counted on — and haven’t been comfortable writing about.
Most anyone who’s spoken to me in the past few months has heard some version of the story. It generally involves me feeling overwhelmed to the point where I can’t quite breathe, or me trying to wrap my head around building friendships and unearthing my interests in a city that I can’t manage to navigate without furiously referencing a series of iPhone apps.
Or it’s simply a glimpse of me trying to make sense of how to embark on the non-traditional life I adored so dearly on my trip, when I can’t quite define what non-traditional actually means to me.
For months now I’ve aimed to be grateful that not only did I land on my feet post-trip, but I landed spectacularly, with a job and a brilliant apartment.
But there’s also been this element of anxiety, one which has been compounded by so many changes and life events and trying to navigate what’s gearing up to be an enormous moment of personal growth — because that IS what it’ll be in the end, right? — when I had never banked on the process manifesting in the midst of so many shadows.
Everyone’s tolerance for what they deem difficult, what they can handle, what makes them sad, what drives them crazy, what inspires them, what frightens them will vary. In the past, I’ve thought I understood that as truth. And I believe I’ve respected that truth. But after these 7 months home, I understand in a far deeper way that we’re all wired to cope with our stuff differently.
And it’s been a long fucking trip back, but for the first time in months I’m seeing myself again. I’m breathing again. I can honestly say I want to dive into this city, learn it, and build a relationship with it — in a way I understand. I’m not sure what that coexistence will look like, but I can finally say that I’m hopeful to find out, because it will be my own — defined on my terms and through my heart.
I’m trying these days to look at what scares me most, particularly when I am being wicked hard on myself, and I’m beginning to realize I default to doing this to myself because I am absolutely terrified I will not act on the heart and love and enormity that lies inside me — and which I want to share and have never quite known how to channel outward for the best.
Facing this understanding, and sitting with it — not running from it or distracting myself from it — well, I believe that’s going to bring me closer to my truth.
Now, here’s to a new chapter, a new journey, a new iteration of Passenger Conners.