The 24 hours before I left for Wyoming were not pretty by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. All my talk of being brave and “Cowboy up!” put a certain picture in my head of how casting out on this big adventure would look. And, trust me, such a picture did not involve mindlessly zoning out online or tearing up every time I stopped to think about the trip for longer than 3 seconds. I surfed the internet a lot during that last week. I also cried a lot during that last week. The trip seemed big and long and far. Add in packing, transportation logistics and worrying that Tom was going to lose one of the boys at Wrigley Field – and yeah, I was slightly unhinged.
I knew once I got in the car to drive myself to the airport it would be better, but I wasn’t sure I was going to survive myself until then. My breath was shallow and high in my chest. My patience thin. And the voices in my head were deafening: “You don’t do this. You don’t go to Wyoming. You don’t ride horses. This is not what you do. This is not who you are.” That last line was an unending echo: relentless and smug. In contrast to this inner monologue were the kind and uplifting words sent to me via voice, email and text. At some point, I was tired of pretending that all was going well, and when my dear, dear friend Siobhan texted me something about being brave, I responded “Brave sucks.” Which at that point, it did.
When I could begin to look at myself – (meaning: after Siobhan put on her therapist’s hat and talked me off the ledge (thank you, Siobhan)) – I could see I was coming up against my growing edge, acutely feeling the tension between who I am and who I am daring to be. This has been a theme in my personal growth this year: pushing myself to see myself beyond the confines of my own rather narrow mind. It’s been a slow process of not allowing old patterns to dictate new growth. It has not been pretty or graceful or tidy. It sure as hell hasn’t been easy, but beyond a doubt, it has been worth it. In Wyoming, I found a place inside myself where the view of who I am is wider and deeper than I thought possible. Coming home from this experience has honestly left me a bit restless and breathless and at a loss for words that truly capture where I find myself right now. I’m trying to give myself some space, with time to think, time to write, and time to listen to those voices that are kindly and gently pushing me to take another step. ♥S