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The Great Despair

If you happened to have read my New Year’s post, then you’ll already know that 2017 was pretty tough for me. And if you haven’t, the long and the short of it, is that last year, I began to suffer from pretty severe depression and anxiety.  Towards the end of the year, I was struggling with even the most simple day to day activities; eating, sleeping, going to work…

If there is something positive to be said about this though, it’s that it made me think.  A lot.  For most of last year I saw a therapist, and with her help, spent a lot of time talking about and contemplating both why I was struggling and how to better take care of myself.  

I learned a lot about myself and the mindsets and self worth issues that were really bringing me down. I also realised that there were big changes I wanted to make in my life but had been too scared and, frankly, too comfortable to make.  What if I tried something new and failed?  What if I didn’t have the skills or knowledge or talent to do anything besides what I was already doing?

I think these are really common fears though, especially as we get older and our responsibilities grow.  Because truthfully, becoming an adult IS scary! There is the student loan debt you’re still trying to pay off.  There are the monthly bills, the competitive job market, and the fact that if you haven’t gone to school or had previous training its really hard to switch careers. There’s the fact that you should have started saving for a house and for retirement 10 years ago…

I don’t care how many blogs and articles out there say we should all just quit our jobs and travel the world, it’s not that easy. Making a big life or career change is scary and uncomfortable and risky.  There is no guarantee it will work out.  But I guess there’s no guarantee that ANYTHING, EVER will work out. So maybe now really is the time to go after the things we want? This is something I thought about a lot over the last few months of 2017, and at the beginning of 2018, finally decided to put a plan into action.  

It wasn’t easy, and it certainly wasn’t something I did on a whim. I planned, saved, networked, gathered support, and generally got all my ducks in a row before finally giving one month’s notice at my job and hitting the purchase button on a series of plane tickets.  

And so, one week ago I had my final day at work. The day after that, I handed my beautiful boat over to a friend for safekeeping.  And just yesterday I packed nearly all I owned into my car and waved goodbye as my dad drove it away to Arizona.  And now, I find myself sitting alone in an airport, carrying with me only a paraglider and helmet, a pair of climbing shoes and a harness, and a small backpack of personal belongings. Today, I set off for adventure!  Three months.  No real plan. Solo. Climb. Fly. Europe!!  Wish me luck!! 

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