“I’m worried for Kate.”
Ever since the recent earthquakes in Nepal, I’ve been messaging the guide who led me on my recent trekking adventure in that country. Now, this man who is living in a country that has been through an act of nature that has lasting repercussions and continuing aftershocks, is expressing concern for me.
Coming back to Cayman after a brief stint in New York was a bit rough. People had warned me that coming back from a trip home can be emotionally challenging. I was frustrated that it was so challenging for me. It didn’t help that the plans for the trip had been affected by my strep throat diagnosis. Not seeing my family, when the intent of the trip was to see my family felt really sad to me.
And then I returned to the island, where I found old familiar emotions and thoughts swirling in my head. I was suddenly remembering past heart breaks, times when relationships hadn’t worked out the way I wanted them to, voices of doubt about my abilities, and I found myself thinking about a question posed by someone who had come to the island months before: what are you running from?
In all honesty, this past year has felt like a rough one. I’m imagining that I’m going through some kind of emotional growth spurt. I’m not sure what it’s all about, or what the end game is right now, but I know that growth usually comes with a good deal of discomfort. And when you’re on an island, where you know few people and the past time is largely sitting, relaxing, doing a whole lot of a little, there is plenty of time to sit with yourself, and therefore plenty of time to sit with discomfort. It’s been said before, but knowing it doesn’t make it any easier: no matter how far you run, you can never get away from yourself.
Despite all that lives in my head, I’m feeling very fortunate that I’m afforded the opportunity in my life to have an experience like this. My Nepali guide was expressing concern about my uncertainty about where my home would be, and if I would find work. That said, I am so fortunate that I was given the opportunity to do interesting work in a new environment. I am fortunate that I have a supportive group of friends and family who have provided vast amounts of logistical and emotional support. I am fortunate that I was born into a country that allows an ease of travel that many other countries do not have.
And because of all of this good fortune, I can find myself on a beach at sunset, with a small group of other women, as we move through yoga poses. I can turn to the sun and find beauty. And I can find those moments where my strongest voice seeps through, reminding me that I can create the life I want anywhere I land. These are the moments that make the uncertainty and doubt worth it in the end. These are the moments that I realize that there is a strength that lives within me; I’m working hard to let it out.