“Welcome back,” he said to me as I hear the familiar sound of my passport being stamped. I smile genuinely and say thank you. A little burst of happiness goes through my body and sort of wakes me up from the 9 hour flight from Berlin. I know people say that the U.S. immigration can be really mean, but I’ve always enjoyed coming back into the country after being gone for a long time and I always feel welcomed – like this time.
I grab my backpack and start to take two steps towards the luggage retrieval and my mood suddenly slides into a downward spiral…
I’m back and for the first time in 9 years I have no plan to leave next.
No. Plan. To. Leave.
I’m trying not to freak out. This is what I wanted. I have been turning down opportunities to travel because I wanted a little downtime to catch up with work, work on new projects, and sit still. I needed to do this for my sanity. It seemed like a good idea, but now I’m in a panic. Not having a plan, not knowing when I’m leaving, not having something on my calendar opens up a giant insecurity canyon in my brain. I’m not really sure how long I will be able to fight off the urge to plan my next trip and be in motion. Granted, I still don’t have any home-base, so I will be moving around the US for the holidays once again. I will be moving – but that doesn’t solve my need to cry every time someone asks me the frequent question, “Where are you off to next?”
My plan thus far has been to throw myself into therapy. However, I’m too cheap for actual therapy so instead I’m doing ‘therapy via podcasts’. I adore podcasts. I’m listening to (more like devouring) them on my runs, subway rides, downtime trying to make sense of all of the emotions, fears, and thoughts floating through my head.
The podcasts have also led me to a few great books that I’m loving too:
It’s fitting that in this season of fear and scares I’m in the process of facing one of my greatest fears. Sitting still with no plans to move.
For Halloween, and as a homage to sitting still…and being in a mental state of disrepair, I decided to pull together my favorite pictures from 2015 of being still for eternity as well as a few of my favorite abandoned places that have fallen into disrepair.