The Fear of Being Still

April 26, 2024   5 Comments »

The Fear of Being Still

October 29, 2015 5 Comments »

“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, and not having something on my calendar open 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, and downtime, trying to make sense of all of the emotions, fears, and thoughts floating through my head.

Here are a few of my favorites lately:
Magic Lessons Podcast
Ted Radio Hour Podcast: Quiet
Ted Radio Hour: What We Fear

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.

cemetery Nome Alaska
Not quite the white picket fence you want. Cemetery in Nome Alaska
rusty lock molokai hawaii
Houdini couldn’t make it through this rust. Abandoned hotel complex in Molokai Hawaii
Kolyuchin Island Abandoned
An abandoned research station on Kolyuchin Island high up in the Arctic north of Russia.
Kennecott Alaska Abandoned
Abandoned mining building in Kennecott, Alaska
Kolyuchin Island
Research station Kolyuchin Island, Russia
Spain cemetery
Cemetery in Spain’s Pyrenees. This was just in a yard outside a farmhouse – a strange setting yet beautiful.
abandoned boat Russia
Abandoned fishing boats among whale bones in the Chukotka region of Arctic Russia.
pilgrim hot springs alaska
A few grave sites are still visible in the forest at Pilgrim Hot Springs outside of Nome, Alaska.
pilgrim hot springs alaska
Abandoned buildings and bikes at Pilgrim Hot Springs in Alaska. An old orphanage that has sat idle, deteriorating for years.
weimar russian cemetery
Russian graveyard in Weimar Germany (former DDR territory)
Wrangel Island abandoned buildings
Wrangel Island in the Arctic is full of abandoned buildings, polar bears, history, and virtually no people.
Kalaupapa National Historic Park Father Damien
Father Damien’s grave at Kalaupapa National Historic Park Molokai, Hawaii
Nome Alaska microwave station
An abandoned microwave ‘spy’ station in Nome, Alaska. Listening to Russian communication was big business in the 80s…
Nome alaska cemetery
A lone tree in the Nome, Alaska cemetery. The only trees in the town are found in the cemetery.
kennecott alaska mining
A sinking abandoned copper mine in Kennecott, Alaska

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