For the last few weeks something has been brewing inside of me, trying to articulate those feelings has been one of frustration. One word answers to my emotions fly into my peripheral and disappear in a puff of smoke when I try to grab on and make sense of them.
The word that keeps coming back to me is fear. I can feel it in the pit of my stomach, an uncomfortable feeling, it's using so much energy just being there that I can feel it stealing from my self confidence, my purpose and my worth. I can feel it sucking my power and making me feel so small. My thoughts have become scatty and hard to understand and all the while I'm not sure what I'm so afraid of?
Being out of control, being in a comfortable place, change, moving on, letting go, opening up, being vulnerable, making decisions, staying still too long, becoming boring, failing my business, running out of money, hurting others, not loving enough, loving too much?
I feel myself in a middle place, a crossroads but the fog is heavy and I'm not sure which road to take. Im not sure why I feel the need to move, am I ready to physically move to a new place or is my mind just trying to run away from its problems?
Sometimes I miss the security of knowing where I belong. A local bar with familiar faces lining the stools, a place to rest my head where I wont get asked to move along, my parents house where I can be vulnerable and scared and let all my walls down without fear of rejection. In times when fear has taking hold wrapping myself in cotton wool and burying my head in the sand feels so inviting but I know from experience that it won't help.
What lies ahead is unknown, like the world has torn open a huge crevice in my path. I sit on the dusty ledge peering Into the echoy darkness, a coldness arising from the depths. But the unknown isn't all bad, yes there are opportunities for things to fail and go wrong but I like to think of those as lessons. A rope and some courage would be a thrilling ride to the bottom and down there could be a flowing river to wash my trembling body, to rid myself of dirt and dust and float away my fears. No longer a scary black hole but a place full of adventure and beauty.
The darkness is only that until you walk straight ahead and illuminate it with your presence. Sometimes I'd like someone to hold my hand, guide my feet until I learn how to turn my light on again but attaching myself to others is only feeding my fear and telling it I'm not capable of doing this alone.
I know my fear is hear to teach me, a human instinct to stop me from diving head first into that deep crevais, but too much fear can be crippling, stuck on the ledge staring into darkness. I've felt myself hand my power over to fear and watched as I retreated into myself, letting the negative thoughts run a muck in the positive fortress I had once thrived in. An Invasion in my mind.
With any battle comes new beginnings, a new understanding of our weaknesses and strengths. With all the walls knocked down, cracked and crumbling we make space to build again. With no palace to protect we can start from within, regain our power and strength, be brave and bold in the face of fear. I don't need high palace walls, forts and bridges to hide behind. I stand here face to face with fear, with nothing to loose and only life experiences to gain.
No life is predictable, but choosing to do it in a van means I'm constantly facing unknowns, at times when I feel strong and full of power it's become so normal to be facing new worlds that all I feel is excitement and thrill in the face of fear. Just writing down my thoughts and facing how I'm feeling head on is already starting to unravel the hold these negative emotions have had on me. Realising that fear doesn't have to be crippling, that the more I face it the more comfortable I become in the face of it. My home is constantly moving, my friends and relationships flowing and interchanging, my physical world is ever changing but my mind, body and soul can always be grounded. When you feel the world spinning out of control, opening up wounds in the ground and dropping walls around you remember the only world you can control is inside of you. Only you can stand up to your fears.
I get asked a lot of questions from people thinking of or starting out their own adventure into vanlife. Yes there is research to do; which van, what places, toilets, showers, safety, breakdowns..... I could write you a long list of exactly how I started my journey, I could attempt to illuminate some light on your fear of the unknown, I could tell you my failures and triumphs so you could avoid or gain some similar experiences but the best advice I can give you is to trust yourself, this is your journey not mine. Find comfort and safety in relying on your own intuition, face your fears head on. This journey is your new teacher.
I will finish with this piece of advice a good friend recently left with me, a statement that has been bringing me comfort in the darkness; The hardest part is thinking about it, don't let the ego convince you that you aren't good enough to live the life you want to lead. It's out there, you just have to take it.