I’ve been struggling with stress, loneliness, and homesickness the past few days. All three emotions come from interconnected aspects of my life. I’ve been trying to plan my travel between when I leave Woodend (three weeks!) and when I return home. I want to coordinate with others, but we’re all busy and slow to communicate. So I keep waiting around and pushing off buying tickets. Every day I wait the tension builds.
But it’s important to me that I see friends when I can.
Because I miss everyone terribly.
Having a social network that spans the globe is exciting and inspiring, but it also means there’s always someone far away. Grade school friends, college friends, Philfriends, Hong Kong friends… Most of all I miss my family- the Ettingers, my best girlfriends, my brother, my parents. I can’t wait to be home again.
Part of me wants to call this whole world wandering thing off May 5th when Hanna leaves Sydney*. But I know my five year plan**, and it doesn’t hold a lot of room for international travel. And if there’s one thing I believe in, it is to Do Hard Things. The things I’ve feared most- working at Philmont, teaching music, directing the choir at St. Edward’s, flying to Hawaii by myself with no real plan- these have been the best and most rewarding experiences of my life. So I know I must continue this path. My fear compels me forward, past my comfort zone, and into a new adventure.
Buying tickets for my first month of travel after Woodend relieved a lot of the stress. Focusing on my time with Hanna in Sydney and Liaan in Cape Town lessens my loneliness. And a solid conversation with my brother over the phone quieted the homesickness. I’ve been singing a lot more the last couple of days, first to channel the emotions, then to heal, and finally to transform them into joy.
I went a couple days without running or exercising. My motivation was low and I just felt tired. But I dragged myself outside today and listened to an episode of the She Explores podcast***. The episode talked about being okay with not knowing all the answers. At first I scoffed, thinking “I got my long term plan, I know who I am, who I want to be, and what I want my life to be. I may not know the details, but I know the answers.” But… Now I’m not so sure I know all the answers.
And that’s okay.
When the pidcast finished I popped Ed Sheeren’s “Shape of You” on. As soon as the beat began my feet pounded the ground in rhythm and my body found dance. Music heals y’all, and it is beautiful.
The entire song I ran faster than I have in several weeks, dancing the whole time (good thing I’m leaving in 3 weeks, the neighbors are probably starting to think I’m a little stranger than can be explained by being American). I just about collapsed on the floor when I got back to the house, but damn did I feel good. I downed some water and ran up to my computer. I wrote a lot of stream of consciousness that honestly is not being published, but that started what I am
The Runner’s High is real and I am addicted. Three days without running and I felt like shit. 30 minutes of heaving breathing and my motivation is back, I feel inspired, I feel passion swelling up and everything I do feels like a dance glorifying life, love, and happiness. Basically, I feel joyful.
So yes, this travel stuff gets stressful. It gets lonely. I get homesick. But life is a lesson, you just have to go out and learn it. So I’m facing this challenge. And damnit, I’m going to learn these
lessons. And I’m going to learn them with joy in my heart.
Sending love and joy to all ❤
*The amazing, inspiring, fantastic Hanna is meeting me in Sydney for a week. I’m stoked to see her!
**Coming Soon! Megan’s Five Year Plan, a post about dreams and goals
***More on this later, but for now just know this is a great source of inspiration in my life right now. If you are an outdoorswoman of any level check it out. Like, right now. I made it easy for you and hyperlinked it. Just gotta click. Why you still reading this? Go check out She Explores! It’s waaaaaaaay better than anything on my blog, for realsies.