So … I’m home. It is virtually impossible to wrap my head around the idea that my 6-month journey is in my rearview. That said … the title of this blog – Onward – is still apt. Because of course forward movement continues regardless of the fact that I’m no longer flitting around Africa and Asia. Which brings me to the title of this post…
“Just keep going!” is one of the most important pieces of advice/biggest gifts I received on this adventure. This statement was literally foisted upon my friend Elizabeth and I as we stumbled up a highly suspect hill on our way to find yet another spa in Bali. “It can’t possibly be up this random path…” I remember thinking just as Elizabeth asked an elderly local woman if we were heading in the right direction. The kind lady smiled and nodded as she urged us to “just keep going.” And Elizabeth and I immediately jumped on this simple statement, adopting it as our mantra … through rainstorms and impossibly long treks down “this-can’t-be-right” paths and other various and sundry challenges along the way.
Happily – this proclamation of ONWARD continues back home. Yesterday morning I decided to hike a trail I wandered up before my departure last fall. It’s a beast. And in the past, I typically only made it to the top with friends in tow, urging me to eschew the tempting benches perched half-way and continue up the steep incline to the rewarding view at the hill’s crest. So yesterday as I began the climb, I questioned if I would make it to the top. It’s not only steep … the crumbly ground makes is treacherous. In the past I’ve turned around at the mere glimpse of clumps of rocky soil just waiting to turn my ankle. I was just too apprehensive. Scared really.
But today I felt strong… both physically and mentally. Hauling wheelbarrows in Africa and luggage throughout Asia helped build muscle. But more importantly – I’ve found that I just feel more secure – more confident. I literally marched up that mountain. Yes, I hesitated at the lovely bench. I even perched there for a minute to enjoy the view. But in the back of my mind I just knew I had to get to the top. And as soon as I arrived up there, I felt exuberant. Giddy even. Because I feel in my bones that this is my new M.O. Saying YES to things. Overcoming challenges. Knowing that I am capable of far more than the whispers of my inner critic would have me believe. We all are, really.
So I’m thrilled that I returned with more than a bunch of air miles and a few magical gifts for friends and family. I have a feeling more shall be revealed… that further reflection on my journey will continue to teach me about myself and how I want to live my life. But this first “aha” was a big one. I was apprehensive about returning. Worried that I would feel stalled after so much intrigue and adventure. So I’ll keep my mantra “just keep going” near and dear. Onward? YES!!!