photo-11The equipment is being gathered, the plans are coming together, and soon, I will leave for Spain. On Sunday, my jitters got the better of me and I had a minor meltdown while on a giant walk, religiously breaking in my shoes. All those tiny doubts that I've been shoving down and pushing away came sneaking up all at once: What if I can't actually do this? What if I'm not strong enough? What if I haven't prepared nearly enough [probable] or haven't brought the right things? What if I get horribly, horribly lost [again, quite probable]? What if I never figure out blister prevention and it's just horrible the whole way? What if they take my face wash away at the airport? What if I lose my passport? Though some of these fears are more warranted than others, they are nothing to mull over and over in my head. They could happen (I will get lost. I will blister, at some point), but they could not, and it doesn't do anything for me to give all of my brain power to being anxious. I have been trying to concentrate on what I'm excited about, even the smallest things like the fun gear I've accumulated (like my rain jacket! Is it green? Is it yellow? Who knows!) and my new inflatable pillow. I'm looking forward to the quiet and the space and the simplicity of "today this is your task and this is the journey, and the road on which you walk it." I'm looking forward to being in Spain and being close to the ocean. I'm looking forward to being on my own, and all of the challenges that go along with that, and proving to myself that I can do this. I have been trying to envision myself on the walk, on winding country roads, with a pack and a map, and I don't recognize that woman. I can't see her yet. I am looking forward to getting acquainted with this Jess, the one who can navigate her way, albeit clumsily and roundabout at times, across a long stretch of land, despite fear and doubt, despite this throbbing timidity that is having a seizure in my chest.

This is by far the craziest thing I'll have ever done so far. This may very well be the craziest thing I ever do. This is the kind of thing that I'll bring up with my kids to prove that once, before diapers and dealing with picky eaters and (God forbid) a Mom-Haircut, I walked my terrified ass across the whole width of Spain by myself with a tiny backpack and bleeding feet.

How necessary that we do what is difficult. How necessary that we show ourselves that we are much more than what we limit ourselves to.