I am currently on episode 3 of the vlog which discusses the long awaited release of telling my family, friends and job about leaving to travel Europe.
The Wandering Moth
It’s been a theme so far that I make one mediocre post on here every other month and then get lost in the craziness of life. This is much less than I hoped for but also more than I expected. Yay?
I want to share a little about my family and the fact that they have no idea I am planning to leave everything behind and jet off to another country in less than 90 days. Am I nervous about telling them? Completely…but it’s just not that time yet for many reasons.
As I write this, it is just after midnight and I only got home from a full day of Christmas-ing a couple hours ago. Instead of laying down to sleep, grateful for everything in my life and feeling the warmth of the holidays, I feel conflicted. So many Christmas presents I won’t be able to take backpacking with me. So many times wanting to share the excitement of my plans. So much guilt about the Amazon wishlist I made (that wasn’t utilized) so my family wouldn’t spend their money on things they will soon realize are going to sit in storage or be sold for travel money. So much disappointment when my new step-dad told me he went across three counties looking for an open shop on Christmas Eve so he could get me nice bowling shoes, not knowing they’ll only be used once or twice before I leave if I’m lucky.
Even though it isn’t the right time to tell them yet, I still feel bad that I need to hide it. I feel like I’m keeping a huge secret that ends with me abandoning everyone in my life who loves me. I know that’s not the case, my closest friends already know I’m leaving and have been incredibly supportive. It’s my little sister and my mom I worry about. I know I am not leaving forever, and I know this trip is going to be good for me, but I can’t put away this fear that something will happen to them, or they will need me and I won’t be there. It’s all part of the game of letting go I guess; something I find myself doing every day, in greater and greater frequency the closer I get to my departure date.
So other than not wanting to drop the “Peace out, I’m going to Europe” conversation with the fam on Christmas Day, there are so many other factors giving me anxiety about when I do need to eventually let the cat out of the bag…
1. I work with my mom so it’s a conflict of interest to tell her before I give my notice at work. I don’t want to make her keep secrets that will affect her job.
2. If something falls through with the trip, I don’t want to tell everyone my plans and then change them. This has to do with my job, but also my personal life.
3. My grandma is not doing well. I’m going to visit her with my parents and siblings in a few weeks, but even that long isn’t a guarantee that she will still be with us by the time we get there. Her farewell is far more important than mine. BTW, FUCK CANCER.
4. My sister (12yo) is battling depression, failing in school, dealing with my parent’s custody battle, and has a brand new step-dad. All of our other siblings live out of state, so right now I am one of the only people she has to confide in. I’m hoping things will settle down soon.
4. My mom’s birthday is also the week we’re going to see my grandma. That’s honestly too much for me to process without telling everyone my plans, let alone my mom handling all this in the first month of the year.
When it comes to this trip, having to hide it is probably the toughest hurdle I’ve had to face so far. Until I am “officially leaving”, meaning I have given my notice at my job, my lips are begrudgingly sealed. It’s my hope that if my family is at all upset about this choice, they will eventually read this blog and have a better understanding of my (crazy) thinking during the process. Only time will tell.
Happy holidays readers. If you’re feeling particularly giving, please help me stock up on backpacking supplies from that unused Amazon Wishlist I made!
So here I am again. Almost two months have gone by and I haven’t dedicated any more time to this blog until now. Life is definitely catching up with me as I feel the clock ticking away. Every time I come back here to post something I see the countdown I created knock another month off and the panic starts to set in. I try to keep my anxiety at ease by reminding myself that I need to just do it.
I’m starting to sound like an overdone ad for Nike, but it works. When I have those overwhelming moments where everything seems like too much and I doubt myself, I have to stop and say “just do something, anything!”. Any step towards getting myself where I want to be is a step in the right direction. Wasting my time worrying about it is a step in the wrong direction, so I am trying my best to train my brain to do it, whatever it is in those moments where I am completely freaking out.
So what am I doing? Since this blog is meant to recap all of my adventures before, during and after the biggest trip of my life, I guess I should recount what it is I am actually doing to prep for it.
All in all, I am crazy excited about the future and I can’t wait to flip my world upside down with this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Hopefully I will get better at this blogging thing, but I know I just have to remind myself to stop stressing about stuff I am not doing, and just do it.
When I started this blog, I was trying so hard to write in a specific (and conservative) style that I thought people would enjoy reading. However by forcing myself to write a certain way, I quickly started to loath the ritual of blogging which brought my blog posts to a screeching halt. I would edit my posts a thousand times, question myself, re-write posts entirely, and honestly was just spending way too much time refining everything to be “perfect”. I wasn’t even being a perfectionist for myself, I was doing it for the readers I had and wanted to have. Constantly criticizing my own writing style to make it digestible to the masses. What masses though? I don’t really have a ton of readers, and deep down I don’t care if I ever do!
If this blog was meant to keep track of my thoughts and experiences before, during and after going on the biggest adventure of my young life (which it is), then why am I trying to do something I think people will like instead of doing what I like?!
Once I had this epiphany, a few other epiphanies followed:
#1 is the most powerful sign that i am ready to stop caring about what people think. Not just when it comes to my writing, but in all areas of my life as a whole. Letting other people’s opinions affect my writing is not going to breed honest blog posts, and the entire point of this blog is to document who I am and who I am transforming into. My blog is anonymous anyway, so why do I care so much!? I am working on letting go of my need to please other people, but it is a process for me that I know is not nearly over. If anything, my process of letting go is just beginning.
#2 made me realize that I need to let go of this idealistic vision of being “internet famous” for my blog posts. There are thousands of blogs out there written by amazing and experienced bloggers. Am I one of those? No. Do I care to ever be one of those? Not really. Would it be kind of cool for my blog to blow up and be recognized by a ton of people? Sure! I want to share my thoughts and experiences so I have something to look back on, so if people find my posts relatable then awesome. Is that the point of my blog and what should drive me to keep blogging? Absolutely not.
#3 was actually a very shocking and educating realization. When I first decided I wanted to blog, I thought it would be a travel blog focused around my adventures of backpacking across Europe. However, after reading another bloggers explanation of the difference between a lifestyle and personal blog was, I realized what I was trying to do was not a travel blog at all! This really is going to be a personal blog, possibly an inspirational blog, and I am okay with that. Really I just want get my thoughts out of my head and be able to come back to them. If someone else likes my blog, awesome. If I meet fellow travelers and want to give them a way to contact me, I can direct them to my blog. Beyond that, I don’t really care about trying to make my blog anything more than what it is right now.
So now that I know how to actually get excited about blogging (by being myself), I can finally say “screw it” and just write what I want without freaking out about it being perfect. So if you decide to follow me…be prepared for messy, funny, weird, grammatically incorrect and eclectic blog posts. If you don’t decide to follow me, I can happily say that I couldn’t care less. Sorry, not sorry.