I haven’t been publishing much on here lately. The trip is wearing on me in some ways. I’ve been living out of my van for a couple months now, and that much instability and insecurity is getting to me.
It feels raw. I’ve been left alone, more or less, on this trip with nothing but my wounded and defensive self, nothing to do but pay attention to the ways I’ve learned, over the 35 years of living I’ve done, to hide from difficulty, to numb to feelings, to build defenses from pain.
But this trip, and the solitude of it and the starkness of it, has been stripping away at those things. It’s like the miles and hours are scraping on the skin of my soul, giving it a kind of road rash. Below the dead layers there’s still living flesh, and now that it’s become exposed, it hurts. It’s uncomfortable. And it’s unstable. I find myself on the verge of tears a lot lately, in public places, which mortifies me – in a bookstore, a brewery, a coffee shop. I’m feeling the sadness of the old wounds, and the sadness of the realization I’ve left myself without healing for so long.
But it goes the other way too. There have been times on this trip where I’ve felt joy just as strongly (and unpredictably) as the sadness – on a hike in unfamiliar woods, at a museum, with an old friend. When I let myself feel the darker, uncomfortable, wounded places, it makes me more capable of feeling the bright and beautiful places too.
I feel as if all this scraping is doing something to me at a fundamental level. Like the surfaces that the journey’s wearing thing are holding something back, and the thinner they get the closer that something is to just breaking out and being free. I feel like whatever it is, it’s close, which means that I’ve probably been traveling just not quite long enough.
That feeling is scary to me. It feels unknown, unpredictable, uncontrollable. But it also feels real and true. I’ve gotten more used to sitting with uncomfortable things on this trip, and it’s been rewarding. I’m going to be doing it for a while longer. I’ll have to see what comes of it.