“Power is the alignment of your personality with your soul.” ~ Gary Zukav
Continued from last week
What was the catalyst for this? What clicked and made you start making changes in your life?
I had reached the worse phase of my depression that I had ever gone through in all 10 years that I had been diagnosed. At work, I was in a constant tunnel. I stopped caring about being engaged and lost focus of my goals. I forgot why I felt passionate about my profession. I wasn’t barely getting by at that point, I was crashing and burning.
My relationship began suffering as well. I became angry and agitated without knowing how to communicate what was going on. Anytime he tried to get me to open up, I would shut down. I would isolate myself, convinced everyone thought the worst of me. I’ve always been introverted and fairly antisocial, but I was full blown paranoid at that point. Being around people made me so uncomfortable; I would stay in our bedroom almost every moment of the day that I wasn’t at work, avoiding our roommates. I was making things incredibly difficult and had no idea what to do. I felt like I was digging a deeper and deeper hole for myself while refusing a ladder every time he tried to hand me one.
Looking back, I can see that it wasn’t the depression that had created these rifts. The depression was a product of what I had been suppressing for years. I had been denying myself the right to live an authentic life. I had refused to acknowledge that I had a voice, let alone “speak my truth”. I was discovering that I had an urge to grow and find that voice, while those closest to me were content with denial, stagnation and stillness.
There was a week where I felt like I was teetering on the edge, walking a tight rope that could snap at any second. This was the week where I kept hearing a small voice progressively getting louder and louder, urging me to jump off the rope and see what would happen. I felt scared, nervous, ashamed… I felt like I was keeping a secret from someone, without even knowing what the secret was.
That week ended with a head first, nose dive right off my tight rope. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, and still one of my worst memories. In one day, I broke up with my boyfriend of 4 years, said good bye to our cat, packed all my stuff into my tiny Honda Civic, drove to a close friend’s house (for a good amount of moral support, kind words and maybe some wine), showed up at my parent’s house, unpacked my life, moved into my old room in the basement, laid on my bed and stared at the ceiling terrified and regretting everything.
I burned my whole life down to the ground, wondering what would come out of the ashes.
Tell me a brief synopsis of the year you started traveling.
Washington -> Seattle, Bellingham, Friday Harbor
I was so thankful to have a friend on the other side of the country, someone I had already planned to see, a friend that could distract me and start me on my self-discovery journey. The details were finalized; all I had to do was count down the days and show up at the airport. I packed a weeks’ worth of clothes and travel necessities into my 60L pack, took an Uber to BWI and set off for Seattle.
I had no idea at this time how the next several months would change everything.