The Valleys of Life

April 19, 2017

I am in a valley and I just need to accept that. This valley has lasted longer than I have wanted it too. At this point, I wanted to be starting my ascent for the top of another mountain but instead, I feel like I am wandering across a vista in search of that mountain. I have felt really out of place before, like a misfit, but this time it feels different. Instead of running away I am trying to stand in my uncomfortableness, trying to face my fears and it is really hard. For a long time my identity has been wrapped up in this idea of leaving on a whim, on moving my life, changing my path, constantly in motion, and for once I am trying to be still. And it is hard.

I feel foreign to myself. The worst part is, I have this clarity now about what I want, but it still feels out of reach. Feels like there is this wall or barrier between the life I want and where I am. I know all I need to do is to step over that line and step into that reality but I am paralyzed and I don’t know why anymore.

I thought it was fear, maybe of failure, but I don’t think that is it anymore. I think it might be fear of happiness. Fear of joy. I know that sounds absurd but I remember reading once that we are at our most vulnerable, our most fearful when we feel joy because to truly feel joy we have to be completely vulnerable to the possibility of losing that joy. It is much easier to live in premature disappointment.

I think that is why I settle for relationships with people who don’t respect me, who don’t value who I am and what I offer, who don’t share my vision and dreams because god forbid I actually met a man that did, he would have the ability to destroy my heart. It is why I am fearful of committing fully to the career I want because if I give it my all and I come up short what else do I have.  I know this is no way to live. I know this is not even really living. I am waiting. waiting. waiting.

One of my favorite books is the Alchemist and the part that has always resonated with me is when the young boy is working for the glass maker and the glass maker tells him about his dreams of going to Mecca. He tells the boy that it is his life’s dream to make the pilgrimage but he has never had the money to do so. So the boy helps the glass maker improve his business till one day the glass maker has enough money and the boy congratulates him because he will finally be able to fulfill his dream. But the glass maker says he won’t go and the boy is confused, why wouldn’t he fulfill his dream now that he could.  And the glass maker tells the boy that this has been his dream forever, it’s what he lives for, what he works for if he goes and fulfills this dream then what? The boy realizes that for most people in this life the dream itself is more important than the fulfillment of that dream.

I never wanted to be the glassmaker.

I have lived my life in a way that I chase after my dreams even at the risk of having nothing in the end. Right now I have found the end of one path to hold nothing and I know I need to start working towards the fulfillment of another.  But maybe I am not ready yet. Not today.

I was talking with Mark the other day and we were talking about this two-year period of his life where he was just broken. Literally, his foot was broken and then he had lots of other health issues and it just brought him down for a while. But when I look at him I can see how even though those years were hard for him, physically and emotionally, that he endured and pushed through and never stopped. And I admire that so much about him. He took a risk to live the life he wanted, and now he has that. I think maybe I am in that broken period and it is okay to rest. It is okay to heal emotionally and accept that this is where I am. So then when I am ready I can start climbing that mountain once again.

More about Erica

My name is Erica, I am a creative designer, free-spirit, and all-around dirtbag. Heart of the Nomad is a place for creativity, nature, and random musings. I write about life, share my husband's and my photography business, and my designs. Grab a cup of tea and enjoy!

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