The Light at the End of an Obstacle-Filled, Obnoxiously Long Tunnel

Whenever my stress hangs around for long enough, I start having Plainfield nightmares. Plainfield is the town where I grew up until I was 11. It was less than safe and far from pleasant. Last night I dreamt that that there were people outside the house, people I couldn’t see–I usually can’t–banging on the doors and windows trying to get in. I try to lock the doors, but somehow I know I’ve forgotten one lock at the other side of the house and spend the dream sprinting from place to place, trying to lock them all in time. In last night’s dream, a giant wind whipped through the house, keeping me from closing everything without the wind blowing them back open.

My last blog post was mid-Camino writing. As always, an unforeseen rhythmic change in life derailed my usual patterns of writing and habits of self-care. I took a month-long job in an office with a three-hour round-trip commute, Ben and I moved apartments (which was far from drama-free), and I’ve hit one of the longest freelance dry spells I’ve had since this all started.

Also, I broke my toe on Sunday. There’s nothing like hobbling slowly through Manhattan during rush hour when everything looks like a possible toe-smashing device. A bunch of Amtrak-bound girls donned in bachelorette gear came at me with rolling suitcases last night in Penn Station and I almost balled up into the fetal position.

And yet, amidst all this bitchin’, financial panic, nightmares and tantrum-inducing toe-breaking, I really do believe that things are on the verge of swinging in the opposite direction. This blog post is an attempt to tip things over the edge. After all, I’ve seen the signs of spring. I set up new reoccurring articles with two fantastic websites, I started an amazing acting class last night, I have an audition tomorrow (purple toe and all!), and I’m sitting at my new desk in a new apartment surrounded by every de-stress doodad and motivational phrase you can buy for a home office.

Even though I know the light is near, and this patch of stress must be coming to an end, I feel a bit like I’m dragging myself through the end of a tunnel on my hands and knees.

I feel a Camino comparison coming on….yup, there it is. The last four kilometers of every Camino hiking day were always the hardest for me. Sometimes you can even see the village over the next hill, the steeple of the church taunting you in the distance. There lies your bed, a hot (or warm) shower, a plate of patatas bravas, and most importantly, a 1 euro pint of Estrella. But you can’t get too attached to the steeple, because you’re still in the direct sun, when you feet hurt the most and you’re out of water, walking that last four kilometers.

This is all to say, I hope you hear more from me on this blog shortly. That will be a sign that I’ve reached the village, had my beer and set off again feeling like this stretch of road is finally behind me. Okay, metaphor over.

Enjoy this rainy, sleeping Tuesday, and I hope to be back here soon.

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