We spent two wonderful, sunny days walking from Arthurs Pass to Lake Coleridge.
We walked up a hill and found ourselves surrounded by stunning views, grasslands, rivers and glacier covered mountains. We were on a high, philosophising about life and our trip and its intentions.
I have been thinking a lot about fear over the past months as I have come to realise it is the real reason for this trip. I always thought it was about finding my passion and courage and, by all means, I think it is a lot about it but what it all comes down to is my fear. The fear of fear itself and how it, over a long period of time, came to paralyse me.
We all pick up so much baggage over time, even if we don’t intend to, even if it is things you didn’t even know you were carrying around. My baggage ended up piling up until it drowned me. In a way, I became a baggage hoarder. I blamed anyone I could for my problems and fears, trying to come up with clever excuses why I couldn’t do ‘normal’ things. I did this to the point where I started coming up with different disorders I could have. In reality, I was just running away from my fears; fears of nothing really, but you become a fragile person, a jumpy shadow that is even afraid of its own shadow and you build these thick, soundproof and amazing walls around yourself for protection .
The thing is you don’t realise you have just locked yourself in there with your fears and problems. In theory, I have always known this I just didn’t know how to get out and in a way it became familiar and cosy in there, but at times you think damn I really need to get out of here and breathe.
On a journey like this you are constantly confronted with yourself, you don’t have anywhere to run and hide anymore and it is both scary and wonderful at the same time and all of this is finally happening to me. I spent almost the whole of North Island wracking my brain about what I wanted out of life, asking big questions, waiting for my big breakthrough. I didn’t realise it was happening all along.
I am now airing out my bags as I like to call it. There is no distractions, there are no excuses. It’s just you looking at yourself making decision: do I go on until I grow old, bitter and tired or do I say “Hi, I don’t need this stuff anymore - these bags of garbage - none of the things that happened in the past matters now”. Sure they have moulded me in to the person I am today but it is ultimately my decision how I want to go on with it, weather I dwell on the words that were once said, things that were done or let it all fly away in the wind, go down with the sunset or wash away in the sea.
So, I spend my days walking through amazingness thinking about fear that takes control over life and how, out here, I don’t seem to have as much fear. It seems I have stepped out of a bubble and are breathing for the first time in a long time, and ‘boy’, it is refreshing.
Don’t get me wrong though, fear is also a crucial and important element in our lives. I have this image in my head of a small raincloud that is our fear and we keep feeding it with this, that and the other and before you know It the cloud has turned in to a hurricane and we are left soaking wet in the rain of fear. Fear should be our friend, not our enemy, it should keep us alive not keep us from doing things.
A conversation comes to mind that I had with a stunt man. I asked him if he was scared before he did his bigger more daring stunts. He looked at me seriously and said: “If I woke up and didn’t feel any fear I would have to quit my job”. Fear makes us focused, makes us question things. We just need to learn to not let it run our lives.
I was going to bungy jump in Queenstown some years ago. It was a 134m jump and I was incredibly exited. The jump was from a cable car between two mountains and it was fairly busy so obviously the instructors wanted everything to go fast. They instructed people not to look down and just jump but I wanted to look down, I wanted to feel the fear, I had no doubt that I would jump so when I was standing on the edge ready to jump I looked down and was immediately rewarded by the feeling of utter fear, but it was amazing, it made feel alive. I could feel my blood rush and my heart beat, I could feel every particle in my body and the fear and adrenaline mixed together made the jump so much more powerful.
It is amazing to think how far we have gotten and how much I have learned and grown on this journey.
The autumn has coloured the trees and the air has become clear and crisp and I’m surrounded by beauty I can’t even describe. As much as I am looking forward to being finished I’m also basking in the notion that I am on a trip worth a life time and I’m taking in all the life lessons it teaches me.