In 44 days, I’ll be flying to Paris to start my pilgrimage. I wish I were leaving tomorrow. If I could, I’d wake up tomorrow, walk out the door, and just keep walking.
I’m in a weird place at the moment. I’ve been unhappy with the general state of my life for a few years now, but nothing I do seems to make much of a difference. I have no hope of ever doing any of the things my friends with money can do without thinking – owning a car and a house, a wedding, a child, retirement. I’ve learned to not want any of those things, and yes, my freedom from these things has its advantages, like travel. But having a different path makes it harder and harder to fit into the lives of my best friends. I’m being left behind in every way that seems to count. I imagine it wouldn’t be that bad, except for that most don’t seem to notice. It hurts to be forgotten, but it hurts more to feel like I’ve never said or did anything that was worthwhile enough to make me be remembered.
I’m hoping that the pilgrimage will help me change how I see it, that walking away for a little while will give me some perspective on this messy life. There are so few things that make me happy anymore. It’s a extremely tiresome spot to inhabit. My optimistic side sees me doing something big and good with my life. I want so much to just be GOOD. To make a difference in someone’s life. To not have wasted all of my time posting trivialities on the internet in exchange for my daily bread. But lately I’m struggling to see the possibilities. It’s hard to imagine that anything I’ll ever do will matter to anyone. I feel empty and useless, like all I can do is sit in the corner and watch the world unfold around me. And the things that are unfolding in the world at large make me shudder.
On Monday I’m going to yet another doctor to have yet another conversation about my depression/weight gain/constant fatigue/concentration problems/etc. I always said I wouldn’t want to go on medication, but now I’m crossing my fingers that someone will at least listen to me and give me some options. I want to want to wake up in the morning, even when Spain is not on the itinerary.
Towards the end of his life, when St. Francis was bedridden and dying, he wrote prayers and songs to celebrate God. He regularly sang and recited these inspirational pieces, and had them read to him, to feel better. When I want to feel better, I think about Francis, about the joy in my heart when I experienced the Basilica at Assisi for the first time. I have a strong inner conviction that this journey that I’m on – sadness and all – is for a reason. I’m not smart enough to know exactly what that reason is just yet, but if I’m patient, if I do my best to take care of myself, then walk away with an open mind and a ready heart, the answers will come.