When I grabbed my well-loved backpack from the baggage carousel in Pearson airport, having officially survived 24 sleepless hours of travel, I felt a multitude of emotions running through me. Primarily exhaustion. Second, relief that I had miraculously managed to survive four months without losing my bag. And third, another wave of is it time for bed yet?!
In the coming weeks and even first couple months of settling back into life in Canada after trekking my way through six countries on the other side of the world, I did not feel a huge life-altering shift in paradigm. It’s only now, roughly half a year since stepping off the plane from Australia that I’m noticing the seemingly subtle ways this experience has shaped the current version of myself.
On the last morning of my trip, I set a 6:30 alarm to leave my hostel room and headed to Bondi Beach for one final morning. After ten sandy rounds of sun salutations, a half hour long meditative beach walk, and happy waves at tanned surfers around me, I sat on the beach and felt an unwelcome feeling settling in. And I was surprised to find tears .
Not for the reason you may think. Of course, I was devastated to be leaving behind paradise weather and four carefree months where my biggest daily decision was to indulge in a pineapple or mango drink. This sense of uneasiness went deeper than that. I felt an inexplicable shift in myself. The previous day, I had been offered a position again at my previous comfortable government job, meaning I would return to my past routine of moving into an apartment with my then boyfriend. You’d think these outcomes would provide me with comfort, after months of instability.
I felt an overwhelming sense of panic in my gut. Somehow I knew, without being able to consciously encapsulate the feeling with words, that settling back into that life would be like moving backward, like putting on a well-loved sweater that just doesn’t fit anymore. Something in me had evolved, subtle yet significant, and the thought of losing this new version of myself absolutely terrified me.
Then I remembered the yogic phrase from Pattabhi Jois practice and all is coming. While this may have been originally intended to refer to getting stronger so you can push yourself into that challenging headstand, it reverberated in my mind. All I had to do, was worry about right now, and show up with that new version of myself everyday. I had to get on that plane. I had to step onto Canadian soil. I’d happily celebrate being reunited with my people after four long months. And then, eventually that tug in my gut would tell me to turn down that job, despite the fact that it turned into three unemployed months. Following that still small voice has led me to right now, happier than ever, dating with a new job in my new city.
Practice and all is coming. The big, important life changes will work out if you just show up in the best way that you know how. Focus on that, today, and you’ll be okay.