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{freedom is on the other side of fear}

This has been a tricky one to write.

One of those weeks where I’ve wanted to be anywhere but here.

Everyday on board I am endlessly greatful for the opportunity to be here, doing what I love, yet I am beginning to discover that having so much time to be alone with myself and think is both a blessing and a curse.

I thrive on interaction and connecting with others. Even just the last three weeks at sea have shown me that I get all my energy from my connection with others. This has been an incredibly confronting realization because I have come to terms this week with the immense need I have to create space for alone time in my life. Finding a pocket of my daily routine that is just for me, and no one else. Something I can do to escape and realign my focus.

I do not yet know how I am going to do this…. but alas, I have 6 more months and a lot of alone time to figure it out. Trial and error…here we go!

I have also come into a period during the last two months or so where I find I am constantly feeling stagnant and incredibly critical of myself. I consistently ask myself if I am doing the right thing, if maybe there is some other path or career I am suppose to be on. I feel endlessly plagued by overwhelming anxiety that I am “missing out” on something. (Even as I write this, I feel so selfish and stupid for even having these feelings.)

I am so lucky to be here and have this chance to perform, and save, and travel, meet new people, and set myself up for success in the future, but I am my own worst enemy and need to get out of my own way.

The last twelve months have been full of change, growth, loss and severe ups and downs. I often feel overcome with sudden anger or intense sadness. It has been hard to admit, but I have learned that I have a track record of filling my time and heart with a desire to help, change or fix someone or something in order to distract myself from what I really need to work on personally. Reflecting back now, I see where I have done this in the past year. Routinely doing anything to not think about what I have endured.

There is of course no prescribed way to grieve, and in a strange way, in the moment, all of these distractions helped me cope and muster my way through all the pain I wanted to run so far away from. So for that reason I have zero regrets.

I can already tell that this adventure before me is going to chew me up and spit me out a significantly more stronger, wiser, grounded and confident individual.

I am the KING of having a “plan”, I always want to know what is happening next, know every detail and often be in charge…..

…..well……all of these things lead to my own intense and unessisary anxiety, control issues and insurmountable expectations put upon myself and others that just cause me to get even further away from my goals and dreams.

This contract and new “normal” that I must grow accustomed to is going to teach me how to trust myself more, be content with not having all of the answers and relishing in the unknown.

There is a little green book I was given a few months back, written by a woman named Cheryl Strayed. It is a book filled with quotes that have changed my life in a very short amount of time. The one that comes to mind this week is:

“Bravery is acknowledging your fear and doing it anyway.”

….and that is exactly what I must do for myself. For until I learn to love myself, how the heck is anyone else going to.

A friend this week reminded me to be kind to myself and listen, that its all inside.

I am so thankful for my friends and family that continue to believe in me - even when I want to just pack up and walk away. They inspire me to wake up everyday and work a little bit harder, listen a little more intently and love a little bit tighter.


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