Meghan is another brave soul who has taken up the opportunity to write a guest blog.
She lives in Northern New Mexico with her husband. She is a keen cyclist and walker. Here is an excerpt from her blog – Life at Pedal Speed.com.
I love being outside hiking, rafting, skiing, biking, watching sunsets and exploring with Andrew and the dog girls. I love being in my kitchen cooking delicious homemade treats, trying new recipes and spontaneously dancing with Andrew. I love being in the middle of nowhere. New Mexico is a good place for that. I love being at home and spending quiet evenings listening to Miles Davis and planning our next adventures.
The First Step of My Camino
They say that your Camino starts when you decide to do it, and I know mine has already begun.
My Camino began one morning in May as I was lying in bed listening to the daily news on the radio, trying to motivate myself to get ready for work. I had been feeling very lost after some discouraging and what felt like crushing professional experiences.
That morning, tornado victims in Oklahoma were being interviewed on the radio and talking about losing their homes and everything in their lives. As much as I’m not proud to admit it, I lay there thinking about how lucky those people are to get start all over. It only lasted for a moment before shame and guilt flooded me.
I felt terrible for wishing that a tornado would sweep everything away, but it was also an awakening because I realized that I was desperate for a change. I didn’t really want a natural disaster to make it for me though.
I want to make my own decisions despite the comfort of not choosing and not taking action. There is real power in choosing, and losing that power is a lot scarier than making my own decisions. That was the moment I took the first step of my Camino.
I’ve been dreaming about the Camino lately. It’s almost every night. In my dreams, I’m never walking. I’m always in Santiago at the church, and I’ve never finished yet. I’m there knowing that I will be walking soon.
Last night I dreamed that I was inside the church, and I walked over to where the pilgrims receive their compostelas. It was a small room with a counter inside the church. It’s windows were decorated with cement filigree. The pilgrims waited in line patiently.
I looked through the window and saw them standing there and felt overcome with emotion. I was overtaken by the enormity of what they had accomplished, and my heart was filled with emotions. I knew that I would be walking soon too and standing in that line to receive my compostela.
It was a catharsis. I was letting go of years of anger and disappointment and resentment and unhappiness. Years of doing what I’m “supposed to do” and working at at a desk job that isn’t fulfilling. Years of feeling tired and worn out from willing myself to make it through another hour, another day, another week just to make it to the weekend only to do it again on Monday morning.
All of these negative emotions came bubbling up to the surface and I broke down in tears. I woke up crying with tears streaming down my face onto my pillow.
I think often about what it will be like to arrive in Santiago and stand in front of the church. Every time I think about it, dream about it or read about another pilgrim’s account of their arrival, I’m overcome with these same emotions and tears.
It truly feels like I’m letting go of a small piece of what I need to let go each time, and I’m hoping that will clear up some more space for me to accept and learn what I need to as my Camino continues.
Yes, my Camino has already begun, and I look forward to seeing how I change and grow over the next year. I wonder how I will really react and feel after this year of journey. Will arriving in Santiago feel like the end of a journey? I suspect it will feel like a stop along the way. It will have some finality, but really it will just be a major milestone.