Sometimes it’s ok to not feel completely ok.
I’m saying this having tried for a while now to finish a very long post which updates you with some of my experiences over the last two weeks or so. I’ve had some wonderful times, met some beautiful people, had an academic writing crisis that made me stop all activities and concentrate on deadlines and on my sense of uselessness, went back on the road and had a weekend in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and Lake District, and now I’m in Glasgow…
I’m not feeling it. The joy of travel. These last two days have been completely bereft of it. It felt gray and lonely, and busking in the middle of the huge Buchannan Street yesterday felt alienated and alienating, even though I’ve been to Glasgow before and liked it a lot. It just didn’t feel right. But instead of not writing again, or trying to finish that mighty long post I owe you, I’ve decided to just drop a short note here and say a little something about travel-crisis. Don’t worry, it’s got a happy ending. Well, or an optimistic one at least.
We have this image of a trip or a journey as being something grand, otherworldly in a sense, all-happy and joyous and completely unrelated to “real-life” or to everyday worries. We think we’ll be happily bouncing from one spot to another, feeling like we’re… well – ‘on a trip’.
We set on a trip expecting all those wonderful things, but sometimes all of a sudden it does not feel so wonderful at all, and one might feel like they’ve done something wrong, think that you’re not ‘doing it right’, and that maybe the whole trip is a waste of time.
This is what I’ve been experiencing over the last two days.
And I am here to claim that it’s ok.
If you wish to travel, you have to take into account that the beauty of travel is that it happens within the context real life, it’s a part of real life. And like real life you’ll wake up some of those days and feel moody, or question yourself, or just not want to get out of bed. You’ll be elsewhere, but you’ll still be you. And the sooner you realise that this is absolutely alright, the better you enjoy the trip as a whole and manage to attach less importance to these less-wonderful days (or better yet - learn from them!).
Sometimes my backpack with the amplifier in it + harp + rucksack feel heavier than usual, sometimes worries about academia and life kick in and make it all feel heavier on my shoulders. Sometimes I don’t wake up excited about another day of travel. Sometimes I don’t feel like everything is alright.
And you know what? It’s perfectly fine.
What I’m trying to say is that in order for the whole experience of a journey to be wonderful, you definitely do not need to feel wonderful each and every waking hour.
And what I’m trying to say is that sometimes it’s ok not to be ok. And it actually feels kind of great to be saying this.
Tomorrow I am heading north, towards the highlands and the Lochs. I’m looking forward to enjoying the beauty and serenity of these places, and resting from the bustle of the city. Today was not great, but tomorrow will be… well, something different. Somewhere different.
I’m bidding you goodnight with some pictures from yesterday’s morning walk. It feels like long ago and far away now. It was in Keswick, the town that has a W in its name only because it’s a cool letter, not because they expect you to pronounce it. In the meantime you’re welcome to share your thoughts about the idea of being ok with not being ok.
All the best from Glasgow, the city that enchants me with its moods.
The Wandering (and wondering-whether-she’s a) Harpist