• eschaden

Journeys...

I am getting ready to do a lot of traveling. It would be a lot for me in any year but after two years of pretty much staying home, it seems like a lot, a lot.


What I am learning is that when the universe wants you to move, you move.


At the end of the month I will be taking off for North Carolina to attend a writing workshop. I am so excited about it! My friend and fellow writer will be going with me and we are going to write, take in the sights and try to relax a little. I am super excited...wait, I think I already said that - see how excited I am???


I will come home for a brief time and then I am off to Alaska to see my son graduate from his program. I am so proud of that kid. He has done amazing work. He has confronted so much within himself and made such amazing growth. I am also nervous about going because I am not sure how we fit now. What happens in a relationship that had a lot of dysfunction when both people are now no longer the people who used to be toxic and dysfunctional together? I do not know. I am going to have to let you know.


I am excited to see him and I am fearful that we will fall back into the well worn grooves in our relationship. I am so praying for a new way to relate. I am going to pick up my son whom I love, but this is a new version of him that I have never met before...so that is a little overwhelming. I am sure he feels some level of this too.


I will then travel to Montana to take him to a boarding school. I am fearful about this step as it is all new. It is all new for him and for me. It will be in a part of the country that I have never been to before and neither has he. I am sure we will do just fine. But it is yet another journey to a place I have never been with a person I have known all his life, but who will be very new to me.


Following that, I will travel back to Tallahassee to attend my law school reunion. Most of these people I haven’t seen in twenty six years. And I was a VERY different person back then!


What strikes me most about all of these trips is that they all involve some level of me showing up as someone I wasn’t before or am not now. I have never been to a writing conference because I have never had the courage to go. I have kept my writing very private all my life until I started this blog three years ago. Showing up and offering up my work to one of my author heroes will be a big ask. I feel very nervous and like perhaps this will be the end of my writing. Perhaps all of the other writers will show me that my daily drivel is not worth posting anymore. Perhaps I will feel so inferior that fear beats me down and shushes me. Or perhaps, I might grow in the direction of better. I might be able to finally finish the book I have been working on for more than twenty years. That is the thing about journeys, you believe you are going to one destination, but you often end up in quite another.


Heading to wild Alaska then Big Sky Montana will be yet another journey into the unknown. I am going to meet this version of my son that I have never met before with this version of myself that I have never been before. What is going to happen there? Healing is all I pray for...I just want to be with him and love him and do my best to ensure that he feels how much I love him, care for him and support him. I hope he can express some of the love that I know he feels for me, back to me. But I am not getting my hopes up. I know that really all of these travels are about what I give, not receive.


I was a shitshow in law school. Law school was the last three years of my drinking. As everyone else, moved forward in their lives, prepared to launch as novice attorneys, I fell farther and farther down the rabbit hole of addiction. I was rarely there and more or less almost always drunk or recovering from being drunk. I felt afraid all the time and did the least amount of work I could possibly do and still get by. I don’t remember a lot of what happened because again I was drunk so much of the time. I am going because I want to make amends to those that I hurt with my lack of attendance, my self centered interests and lack of attention. I want to just show up and be amongst the people that taught me, supported me and really ushered me through. I want to amend my behavior and just show up. I want to be of service and help set up and clean up the party. I want to be there and just relax into the brilliance of the women and men that I was privileged to attend law school with. I want to give them a better version of me.

All of the upcoming travel has one thing in common...me being willing to step into the fear and move forward anyway. I don’t have to go to the writer’s conference, I don’t have to go to the reunion and I suppose I could arrange for transport for my son. But I have learned to show up over these past twenty six years. It is no accident that I graduated law school and got sober at the same time. My life really began at twenty five. I launched my life over then and everything I am about to undertake has been made possible because one day in 1995 I hit bottom and asked for help.


I am actually going to be staying with the woman I asked for help that fateful day in 1995. She still my friend all these years later. I am so lucky to have known her and even more lucky that she had the experience, strength and hope that I desperately needed. I am forever grateful to her and for her. I am so looking forward to going back and being present and enjoying time with her.


When I got sober over twenty six years ago, I didn’t know what I was doing. I was so lost. I was so afraid. I was so fucked up. And I could say all of those things today as well. I still do not know what I am doing. I am still lost a great deal of the time. I am still afraid. And I am still fucked up. But today I know that there is great purpose in my endeavors. I know that the journeys I make towards the heart are the best efforts I make in this life. When I stretch and grow and move towards the things and people that scare me, that moves me closer to God and myself. I know that I am on the right path regardless of the destination. Because really there has only been one destination in my life: the one to the very far off place inside my chest, my heart. The hardest journey I have ever taken in this life has been the one towards myself. This time I am very blessed to get to go to the Pacific Northwest and the Atlantic Southeast while I move closer to myself.




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