JOBLESS in Jersey City – I would walk 100 miles


I woke up this morning in a full out panic attack, mentally not prepared for the 24 hours of travel it would take to get back home.

I walked over 100 miles of the California coast. I breathed hard with every step and fought the urges to turn back. I hiked high into the air, stretched on tall peaks and took in the views. I woke up every morning with no goals but just the need to go.

I had an occasional meal or drink with new found friends, but most of the time, I spent alone. I then had time after interactions to process myself – my mannerisms, my words, my actions. I’ve never had so much time to really pick apart who I am.

When alone, I rarely drank – I ate about a quarter of my standard diet – and it wasn’t that I was trying not to, but I was too busy being busy. I didn’t need it so I didn’t take it.

I hiked and challenged myself physically more than I ever have. At points I was on a cliff edge wondering how I got there, shaking from the fear of falling, getting lost and mountain lions. I wore out a brand new pair of shoes and now understand the need for a real hiking boot. I learned to live with a lot less and not wanting more because of the weight it puts on your literal shoulders.

I thought about love. I have tried for the past year to be honest with myself and the truth is – I really thought I was. Deep down, I knew I wasn’t ready to be in love again, holding in pain and confusion. But my heart was able to process this in a way to safeguard itself by shutting out full relationships with friends, strangers and loves. I sorted through the hell in my brain. It was dark and dreary; yet, every step I took broke through the shadows. I know that I can love again…I want to love again…I’m ready to love again.

I laughed. I didn’t cry once. I was smiling 95% of the time. I wanted more. The most essential need I walked away with was to open my heart to receive honest intentions.

I don’t know if I reached the center of what I was seeking, but every step of the journey has felt like a step closer to the truth. I think the rest of the journey needs to happen within.