commotus (Latin)

I probably shouldn’t be allowed to make big decisions at the moment. My mind is all over the place, veering from one thing to another. Sometimes I’m able to see the sensible decision and follow it. Sometimes I’m able to see the sensible decision but something pulls me away from it, convinces me to go another way. Sometimes I have absolutely no idea what the sensible decision is. I’m in the middle right now.

I decided to go travelling at the end of last year, caught up in the confusion of not knowing. There were, looking at my time away critically, some positives to this. A little bit of the fear and timidity that I seem to have embraced with increasing fervour these past few years disappeared. And I saw some amazing things: I travelled on the back of a pick-up truck through a cloud forest, rain whipping my face; I saw an erupting volcano; I saw pin-pricks of reflective light from the eyes of caiman at night and howler monkeys woke me up in the morning; I tasted raw cocoa beans and ate three course meals for $3; I zip-lined across canyons. All things I should (and am) grateful for and all amazing. The Facebook photos would have convinced everyone that I was having the best time ever (which was, of course, the point). But I was also crippled with anxiety at times. I cried for hours in hotel rooms and hid in dark corners of hostels desperately trying to get myself under control. And I was lost (sometimes geographically; mostly mentally). I drifted from one amazing sight and experience to another trying hard, and usually failing, to feel something positive. These were the extremes. I was mostly numb.

Now I’m working again; I have a purpose during the day at least. But it’s a short contract and there’s a gap to fill. The feeling of being trapped is heightened, the danger of falling into unhealthy routines is ever present. So I’m thinking of travelling again. I don’t know what else to do. I have nowhere to go and nothing to do. My justification is that if this illness has taught me anything, it’s that life is short and you don’t know what’s round the corner. I could get better this year; I could tip over the edge and not see the end of it. I might as well see as much as I can even if I don’t enjoy it in the way that I once would have, in the way that I should.

Something tells me this is not the sensible decision but I can’t for the life of me figure out what is so for now it’s all I’ve got.


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