When I first starting thinking about this trip many, many years ago, I basically just wanted to run away from home. I just really wanted a change of scenery. For most of my life, I have dealt with depression, OCD and unrealistic fear. I have experienced times where I was okay, but it was always followed by the same old negative feelings. Poor health and stress compounded my feelings and I got to the point where I just wanted to leave, but I never did. The realization came to me that all I would be doing is having the same old feelings but in a new place. It was not the place that needed fixed, it was me.
The next few years I still struggled but I decided that if I was going to do this journey it would have to have some meaning. It had to be more than just an escape from my problems. I wanted to do something that would change me. Life was still going to happen whether I was here or in Bali, I was the component that needed changing. So I started praying about the quest and I started reading about downsizing and different ways to make oneself better. I then made a list of things I wanted to accomplish and here is what I came up with:
- Reconnect with God. I have always held tight to my religion but I have fallen away and even doubted the existence of God. I need to find my Spiritual Center.
- Regain my health. My good days can be counted using my fingers on one hand, for now the bad days reign. I am constantly exhausted and with that comes indifference due to the sheer fact that I do not have the energy to care sometimes. I have let myself get overweight and I lack stamina of any kind. It is true without health, not much else matters.
- Downsize, pure and simple. Somewhere along the line, the things in my life began to own me. I constantly worked to pay for them (I have made many bad financial decisions). Once I started getting rid of things, I felt lighter but I still have too many things and I feel as if I am drowning at times. I want this trip to show me what exactly I need to live and what I can life without. I hope to be able to carry all the things that matter in one box.
- I want to write. I have always wanted to write but I felt that I never had a voice, that I never did anything noteworthy. I need to experience some things in order to find my voice. I know it is inside me, I just cannot find a way to let it out. I want time to learn the craft and I want this adventure to spur that writer to mature.
- I want to help others. I used to volunteer but I have not done so for some time. Helping others always ultimately helped me more. Getting outside my head helped me be a better person. I want to connect with people who are doing amazing things and help them help others. There will be more about this later…Mike and I have found some really amazing people.
- Change. I need an honest to goodness change in my life. I honestly do not know all the changes that are going to happen during this trip. I cannot imagine coming away from it unchanged. Those chapters are going to have to be written as I go along. I just know that it is something I need.
- Meet new people. If I had my way, I would live in a tiny house and never leave it. I would be a hermit and never venture out. That is the perfect life in my eyes, but it is not really any kind of life. It is the people we meet along the road of life that change us and make us better human beings. I need to get out of my protective (and quite comfortable shell) and meet people. I need their lives to impact me and to teach me new things. I can no longer be this shy person who sits in the corner, I need to get out there.
- Face my fears. I have always been afraid. As long as I can remember, I was afraid. Afraid of what? Afraid of everything. As a small girl, I was afraid of snakes in my bed, witches at the top of the stairs, dying, having someone close to me die, being alone, bear attacks, thunderstorms, you name it, I was afraid of it. As I got older, the fears became more and more a part of my every day life. There were points when I could barely leave the house due to my obsessions and fears. Those were really dark times.
- Stress. Some people seem to deal with stress, some even thrive on it. I tend to get overwhelmed and I shut down. I am easily stressed so my feelings of being constantly overwhelmed are ever present. I need to step away from the stress and rethink how I deal with it, rethink how I am going to let it impact me and learn to walk away from it.
I could go on about the things I want to learn from this trip, but I think you get the picture. I need to fix myself. I need some time to get right with me and with God. This is not a trip of leisure, it is more of a boot camp for an older, overweight, lost person. The things I am going to do are not going to be easy for me, especially since I really do not like being uncomfortable. But I am going to exchange my comfort levels for something deeply meaningful. I long to emerge from these events as a much stronger and better person. It may seem lofty, but if I can gain half of what I expect I will be happy.
As you read and if you have questions, let me know. I want this process to be completely transparent. I am an open book. I have made horrible mistakes in the past (and still will). I have done some good, just not enough. But mostly I have been mediocre and that is worse than almost anything. I don’t expect to be amazing, but better would be better.
Thank you for listening. I hope there will be glimmers of hope and inspiration during the upcoming days and weeks. I am here for anyone who feels the same. We can experience this together. Thank you again for following. Much more to come!