I AM SCARED TO DEATH

Several nights ago I was lying on my bed looking at the world map I have on my wall. This map has the letters “RTW” in green taped across it. Small yellow stickers dot all the places I have visited. In red are three dots showing where I have lived. I began to think of all the places I desired to see – Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, my parents hometown in Finland, the beaches of Goa, shrines and temples in Cambodia and on and on. As I was basking in my dreams a few other thoughts flitted past. Thoughts that I should have let slide by and disappear. I did not. Soon my glorious daydream was crumbling, replaced with fear and with doubt. “Do you really think you can do this?”. “Eeva, you are too old to backpack the world.” “Maybe you should just stick to Europe – it’s easier.” “You are not cut out for this, your time has passed.” “Do you think you will actually save enough money for this? Really?”. “You are out of shape and overweight – what are you thinking?” These thoughts found small footholds in my heart.  I found myself feeling deflated and sad. Perhaps I am wanting too much. Maybe I have bit off more than I can chew. Am I even dedicated enough to this dream or is that all it is, a dream? ~Sigh~

That night as I slept I was visited by an annoying acquaintance – my recurring bad dream.  A dream based in self-doubt that I believed was on its way out of my life. The dream of missing a plane, not getting to where I wanted to go surfaced again. I have found this dream to be reflection of lingering doubt in my own ability to make this trip a reality. In the fall of last year something changed and I have not had that dream until recently. Replacing it has been dreams of travelling. Yet, as I allowed those negative thoughts to take hold my nightmare began again.

So what do I do? These fearful ideas have been running amok in my head for over a week. I have been writing this post for about the same. Even that has been causing me doubt. “How can I tell my readers that I am so uncertain of myself? What a phony I am! I am spouting my ideas and dreams on here yet wonder if I can even do this. My knees are knocking and I want to bury my head in the sand like a terrified ostrich. I should not even write about this.”  I have come close to clicking on the “trash post” button time and again. But I haven’t. And I haven’t stopped saving money. And I haven’t stopped planning. Nor have I stopped talking about it. Why? I have not been certain until recently.

This whole week, while I have been silently freaking out, I have come to realize that I need to own this. Yes, I am scared sh*tless about this trip coming to fruition. It scares me to my core. I will be setting out into a world I know only second-hand. Others have more faith in my ability to do this than I do. There, I said it. I am scared to death of this trip! So why am I still planning to follow through? Because even though I am scared I know this is what I want. I need to bring that feeling back to the forefront and keep it there. And if it does not happen, well then I will just do it while I am afraid.

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