Well… my trip from Ireland to the UK was pretty smooth until Border Patrol scrutinized my passport shortly after the ferry docked. I had a huge misunderstanding in regards to my travel Visa. Apparently, Americans are only allowed six months in the United Kingdom every year. I don’t get a freshly renewed batch of six months just by leaving for a month or two. This is contrary to information I researched online. However, Britain is on high alert at the moment regarding any type of possible immigration offense. After 30 minutes of explaining my situation to the customs officer, I was fortunately allowed back into the country. However with a warning that I was currently in an illegal status. I’ve met travelers from all around the world who have struggled with customs and have often had to bounce to nearby countries for a day or two in order to be allowed to remain in their current place of residence. I thought my situation in the UK was similar. Unfortunately, it’s not and after much consideration, I’ve decided to return to the United States. I can’t bear the feeling of being in an illegal situation. If I get pulled over by a police officer or get into a car wreck, I will be immediately deported. Then I would be banned from ever coming back. I just can’t risk it and have decided to return to Colorado next month and get settled once again. After 10 months of traveling I look forward to having a home again and stable employment. These are things I had taken for granted before. But sometimes the grass isn’t greener. It’s just an entirely different type of grass. Or better yet, an entirely different way to experience the grass.
I am incredibly grateful for being able to travel and live for as long as I have in four different countries. It has been an experience I will never forget and may eventually do again someday. I jumped over many hurdles, worked hard, fell in love, and got to spend a lot of time in the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I have absolutely no regrets, in fact if money wasn’t a factor, I would continue to keep traveling. But right now I have to be rational and there is a strong sense of clarity when I think about coming home. I’ve missed my friends, Mexican food, tumble dryers and wide straight roads more than I can articulate. I also look forward to being in a place where I don’t always have to repeat what I’ve said again and again due to the different language or dialect. I’m ready for life to be easier again. I am determined to never take working in a cubicle for granted again. Words I never thought I would hear myself say. Ahhh perspective!
In a way it feels strange to come back to my old stomping grounds as I feel so very different than when I left. More accurately, I feel like a separate person, like 10 months ago was a completely different reality. It’s a strange, but good feeling. I still plan to continue updating my life and progress with Joe now that he is the one that has to come visit me. 🙂 I look forward to introducing him to those that still remain very dear to me. I can’t wait to help him conquer his first fourteener and glide through the mountains on a full suspension mountain bike. There is still so much ahead that I am so ecstatic about. I’ve managed to see my way through a situation that was very stressful, then sad and now truly embracing the change. What a pleasure to be able to look through the foggy crap in order to see the beautiful, peaceful wonderful life ahead. This was something I was unable to do before which feels like quite an achievement. Unfortunately, coming home is also stirring up uncomfortable feelings as well. I am in the process of updating my resume and renewing coworker relationships from the past. This has forced me to take a long, hard look in a direction I have been avoiding for some time now. I won’t go into the details of why I left my previous company, but it wasn’t what I would consider a comfortable split. I still have deep feelings of resentment which are now materializing in the form of self doubt. What I resist just becomes magnified! It doesn’t go away. Over the past year I have done everything within my power to fight, prove myself, push myself, or anything that would avoid me looking at the possibility that I was wrong. That I didn’t do a good job. I know these things aren’t often easily quantified or objectively judged. But just writing it down right now is an incredibly difficult task. The fear of what I would be if I failed at something. I have always worked hard my entire life. At least this is what I would tell myself as protection from my worst possible fear – failure. I always had strong arguments and excuses for why things went sour with my previous job. I never stopped…NO, I refused to stop and think I was inherently the cause. Which goes against everything I believe about how we create our own reality. I wasn’t happy, I wanted to get out. I tried to do it passively and became apathetic which was my true detrimental mistake. I created my own failure. Then I worked very hard to blame others for something that was my own creation. Deep breath. I now have all these fears and doubts about being a productive addition to the workforce. Will anyone want to hire me? Will I make the same mistakes again? These are all very important feelings to process. I don’t have to take them in as fact or self shame. I already know where that rabbit hole goes. At least these insecurities are out in the open and not buried in bubble wrap within my subconscious. Once this has been unearthed I can move past it and concentrate on doing a good job here on out. It feels more empowering to simply own up and recognize what I did wrong while doing everything in my power to do better next time. I have a strong belief that my next role in a company will be my greatest and most productive yet. I look forward to my manager appreciating my work again and my unrelenting commitment. This is such a wonderful place to be. I couldn’t see it before because I was caught in the fog. It’s so hard to attack these shadows from my past, but not nearly as hard as it is trying to avoid feeling them altogether. Thank you for continuing to take this journey with me throughout all of my ups and downs. Life has truly never been so sweet.