It’s been a while since my last blog update — too long, in fact, so much that from time to time the endeavor feels alien to me. That is never a good sign lest I quickly set aside my memories of the long adventure that took place this past summer. After New York, there were several other smaller moments in my return trip namely Boston, Vermont, Ottawa and Toronto. From there I opted out of a three day train ride from Toronto to Edmonton, flying back instead.
No sooner when I had landed, the texts began flooding in ranging from congratulations and messages of inspired gratitude to those god awful telemarketing spam invites. A few events took place here and there and all the talk back home about how I’d become some kind of a small urban legend had been partially true. During the weekend of my return, I’d been approached by faces both new and familiar to me. I would’ve liked to have relished beneath the spotlight, the center of attention; now even that feels a bit too stretched for my tastes.
I describe the past few weeks as being as surreal as even the most delicate of moments from my trip. Time flew by in a blur. I drifted between the parties and the long conversations, the e-mails and the phone calls. Frankly I’ve found it to be a bit overwhelming to say the least.
Last Friday while meeting up with an old friend, I’d misplaced my footing and injured my right foot. Ironic, in that after six months of continuous walking, pushing myself beyond my physical limits I’d wind up injuring myself the minute I returned home. Yesterday I got the results from the doctor’s diagnosis and it turns out, for the first time in my life, I have suffered a fracture. She’s given me roughly 6 weeks until the end of November. That feels a lifetime away.
Physical welfare aside, I’ve began to experience what some folks call the Winding Down, wherein I return to the comfort of my home and gradually begin to lose grasp of the strict discipline that I’d built up from my travels. There’s already a pile of clothes, stacks of unopened bills, and a sink full of dirty dishes. Even that feels a bit too much of an effort for me and I dread to think, perhaps the exhaustion has returned once more; the motivation or lack thereof, being the byproduct of this transitional phase.
The nights have grown longer, the air colder, and outside in the morning darkness there has been a screen of fog that has been present for the past consecutive days. I’ve began to experience some adverse psychological effects on my end. What I’ve failed to mention is that it occurred back during my time in Chicago, perhaps all the way after Las Vegas, when I began to experience night terrors — rather, a constant dread and anxiety for some unseen or imagined dilemma. Insomnia, at times, ranging anywhere from an entire day and at most thirty three hours of sleep deprivation.
I find it hard to eat. At times I stare off at my food for minutes on end and for a moment, I forget how to eat, my mind becoming blank at the thought. I know it sounds silly but that’s the truth. I put the food in my mouth and I chew, I chew and I stop. It stays inside my mouth like some type of a devoured inside, eaten alive by a bull frog. I describe the feeling that follows as akin to that of guilt.
My best friend, who I have yet to introduce, that had kept track of my movements on my trip tells me that it’s part of what some humanitarian corps experience. The term is “Food Guilt” and somehow I can understand why that is. Some of the unwritten moments of my trip involve dealing with poverty firsthand, hearing the stories about starvation, and a whole mess of things that I’d rather be vague and not go into at the moment. You get the idea.
My mind continuously returns to the places I’d been during my trip, struggling to grasp and preserve the clarity of those distant moments. There’s ever so much I’ve to share with everyone, all the stories of hardship and of the brilliance of the road itself; for what it’s worth, had I a penny for all those times I’d felt detached, frustrated at the lack of expression, I imagine I’d be very wealthy at this point.
I turned my thoughts towards writing it down into paper, creating some form of pattern and design, but once more the words do not come out. I feel overwhelmed easily. The doctor pointed out that for some patients diagnosed with night terrors, there’s prescribed medication to help fend off those episodes though they come at a heft fee. I wouldn’t have expected anything else considering how things in life aren’t free.
She does recommend writing my thoughts down, no matter how absurd or how incomprehensible I think they may be, which for the last ten minutes has proven to be one of the most comforting things I’ve done since I got back. Good company, she had added, with friends and family are also recommended. As a bit of a loner, I’ll keep these things in mind.
The one solution I’ve had before during my bout of exhaustion in Chicago also applies in this particular instance. It was my will that enabled me to persevere rather than throw in the towel. There is some degree of comfort in remembering that I had accomplished my task, survived intact, that even this brief period of hardships seem like nothing compared to the long journey before.
Most of all, despite such things, I continue to remain alive and ‘well’ so to speak. Maybe in a bit of a rough spot but hey, ain’t that the truth in life itself? Besides if the road had presented so great a number of obstacles and challenges (many of which I still have yet to mention) and I managed to overcome them, what’s an injured foot and a bout of post-trip depression going to do on the long haul?
Updates soon. I know, I keep saying that, but honestly this time I endeavor to try.
It’s not like I’m going to be walking around anywhere any time soon.