I always imagined this photograph as having captured the horizontal doorway to Wonderland. I especially like the way the claustrophobic tangle of vines and leaves gives way to the openness of what lies just on the other side of that small wooden fence. It also makes me sadly aware of how comfortable I am to be stagnantly standing on this side of things, to be looking through such a small window framed by thick foliage that it’s nearly impossible to see through. I am stationary and motionless, yet everything else and everyone else around me lives on.
Being dormant is such a dull, heavy burden. My days are lackluster, tediously so. I crave an adventure that will spur my creativity and encourage me to get through the day’s uncomfortable moments so that I will want to live through them again and again, with less and less trepidation each time, until they become a part of my everyday life. To most people, those moments are already a part of everyday life and always have been. Not so for me.
For me, most of my adult life has generally been one long, relentless chain of uncomfortable moments, and very likely of my own design with a smidgen of social anxiety, for that extra kick. At some point, I decided I didn’t have the time and energy to argue with my own doubts, thus establishing a sturdy foundation for all the other doubts I’d ever have about me. And when I began running out of things to question about myself and my character, I looked to others for their contributions. I practically begged them to offer up my faults to me, to help me engineer all kinds of new and inventive ways to find flaws in the way life was supposed to be lived and enjoyed. Instead of seeking out ways to be happy and joyful and spirited, I began seeking out ways to avoid being hurt or humiliated or degraded. I think I tried to garner so much control over one part of my life that I eventually lost control over another. I’ve never wanted to change something about myself so badly.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be working little by little and inch by inch to do just that. Eventually that inch by inch will translate into mile by mile…literally. I’m both terrified and terribly excited. This is exactly the kind of emotional conflict I have always chosen to avoid. Yet, here it is and I’m surprisingly okay with it.
It seems the horizontal doorway to Wonderland is now slowly being pushed open and I don’t think I’ve ever taken a bigger leap of faith in my life. I will admit to feeling short of breath at times, of knowing the familiar chokehold of panic that still creeps into my thoughts about the whole thing. I am learning to trust in myself again that things will be okay, that it will mean so much to me and to the people I’ll be sharing this time with. There is no try in the case of going through with this – I will do this. I have to because I want to. I could never allow myself to be okay with not doing this. There are places to see, people to meet, and a decade of abandoned possibilities to be reclaimed. And, of course, I’ll document it all along the way.