Solvitur Ambulando

Mid-Camino-Training Walk

I’ve had a serious case of blogging writer’s block.  Even writing this blog post has lead me to extreme distraction and procrastination.  I am now currently pan frying some brussels sprouts, because A. I was craving vegetables, B. That Kerry Gold butter we splurged on isn’t going to eat itself, and C. Cooking is not blogging. To be fair however, at least I feel like writing again.  Though I have written a good amount in the past year, it’s all primarily been a reflection of how lousy things have been since November.  So coming out of my eight-month anxiety cocoon is a welcomed feeling–the wedding I had a huge role in planning has passed, the film I partially produced is all set, and my non-career-related job that I’ve held down for two and a half years is in its final days.  And most importantly, a trip I’ve planned/saved for/talked about for nearly seven years is three weeks away.

My Camino training has been opening up my writer’s voice again, and the heavy pile of stress blankets that have piled on since last fall are slowly lifting. For the first time in ages, my writer’s voice is saying something other than, “I feel terrible and the world is on fire.” I’ve spent this weekend wandering around Montclair, breaking in my hiking boots, and lifting my face to the sun I so deeply missed. I am not meant to sit inside at a desk, but I am grateful that these several years of putting my artistic life on hold has now allowed me to return to it with confidence.  But oh, did I miss the sun.

And as much as these return to the light has helped my tightly wound mind, I can’t seem to just leap back into the land of enlightened, positive blogging just like that.  There’s a meme floating around of a dog at his desk while the room behind him goes up in flames. The caption reads, “This is fine.” It’s real point is that people tend to choose ignorance over facing the obvious problem in the room, but this meme has different meaning to someone with anxiety. Even if my metaphorical room is not on fire, I often feel that–just maybe–it really is, and I just can’t see it. And if I were to let my guard down, the whole place would burn to the ground. Things became so comically busy and stressed last weekend, that my husband and I have started saying, “This is fine,” every time things take a difficult turn. Because in the craziest times, you have to laugh about something, yes?  My goal for the next several weeks is to transform from “dog sitting at desk that thinks everything might be on fire” to “man mowing lawn despite a tornado behind him.” Apparently, in real life, the guy told his wife that he was, “keeping an eye on it.”  If I could get to that place–the “I know my anxiety is there but I am going about my life,” I would be a more present person, clearer writer, and more artistically open human.

Until then, I will keep focusing on my 22 final days of Camino training.

A few updates/discoveries:

  1. Everything fits in my backpack–hooray!
  2. I have learned that walking in 90 degree heat with a hangover is a terrible idea, and so I will need to watch my Spanish wine intake like a hawk.
  3. I have moved past the achy-ankle phase, and am looking forward to getting my trunk-like ankles back (no, seriously though, I feel pretty powerful with monster ankles).
  4. I just found out that the sun sets past 10pm in the summers in Spain.
  5. I am very much not 22 anymore–the age I was when I first took on this feat.  My knees like to yell that at me around mile 6.
  6. The brussels sprouts are ready.

And so, I do not have answers quite yet on how or when the stress of the past several months will all melt away; but as the saying goes, Solvitur Ambulando, or “It is solved by walking.” I will keep walking, keep welcoming the return of that lost writer’s voice, and continue to take in the newly returned sunshine.

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