The Seven Year Rule
I have no idea who said it, but I heard the theory that you need at least seven years to process an emotional event before writing about it. Though writing about the Camino has been uplifting for me, I know deep down I am only skimming the surface of the experience. All I can seem to do right now is recount the days like I would tell them to a new friend, or in a story telling class (which I did take right after coming home). But there is so much that I am leaving out.
When Ben and I went to see the movie “The Way” in theatres, I erupted into tears the moment the opening began. I think I cried through the entire movie. What the hell?? It wasn’t that emotional a film. And honestly, from a story telling standpoint, not that great a movie. But I was a wreck. I know that there is now way to fully depict what it is like to walk a Pilgrimage on screen or in a blog.
A few weeks later, Ben and I watched a movie called “The Way Back” oddly enough. It is based on the story of a group of people who escaped from a Russian prison during WWII and WALKED to India for freedom. I was blown away by it. Ben however was confused why I was so impressed. “It was a movie about people walking. For three hours.” Fair, it was a long movie. But I think I liked it because that’s what walking a Pilgrimage is. It’s…walking. And it does something to your mind when you have that much time to simply think. It was like I had five weeks to clean out the messiest closet in my house, but instead it was a closet full of disorganized thoughts, memories, and worries that had built up over 23 years. There were so many issues I simply never addressed because I was able to avoid them in the real world.
I am by no means saying that I have all my emotional ducks in a line now because I walked it. This blog was a result of coming out of the bout of anxiety that resulted from having that much time to think. A saying on the trip is “The Camino begins when you reach Santiago.” And I fully understand that now. I ripped everyone out of that messy closet and left it piled on my bedroom floor. Three years later I’m finally sorting through it. Okay, I’m done with this closet metaphor. It’s making me want to go clean.
I’m being pretty elusive here. What am I leaving out? Well, it hasn’t been seven years, so no matter how much I try to write about it, it isn’t coming. Family regrets, confusion about my career, strange childhood memories, the whole nine yards. Not to mention, a relationship disaster that knocked me on my ass for nearly a year afterwards. Maybe in four more years I’ll be able to write something book worthy. But for now, I will be patient. All I know is that is was a very important turning point in my life, and it’s worth writing about slowly.
I had a dream last night that Claire and I were going to walk the Camino again. But when I went to leave, I had all of my things and no backpack to put them in. I also started to freak out that it was too soon to do it again because my feet were hurting. My dream turned into some strange thing about unreturned library books and Zombies and a political convention but that’s just my weird brain. So I don’t think I’m ready to fully tell the Camino story yet. If I don’t finish my Camino writing this year, I will pick up soon when I am ready to really get into the details that deserve to be told.
Also, if you’re really dying to hear more, let’s get a drink. I sure do love talking about it!
In other news, I am writing again and would love to get back to blogging. I’ve been avoiding it out of guilt for bailing on my Camino stories. But I just wrote an article of student loans for a website called Learnvest that I really adore. I will definitely post it if it makes it to the site. I’m also back at my play! Thanks all for keeping up with this. Hope to do some updates on life soon:)