These four walls feel too tight.
I know it’s bad when my mind begins shrinking down in perspective. I forget that there is more than this life. I forget that there is more than pain. I forget that there is more than my current circumstances. I shrink down and down and down until I forget that there is anything past my own nose. As if my mind can only see where the spotlight shines, and eventually, the spotlight only shines on me— every imperfection, every snag in my story, and every fear and concern.
I get into a rut where my problems feel colossal, everyone seems to hate me, and I can’t do anything right— at least, that’s what my brain tells me when it’s waving it’s white flag.
For almost a year now, I’ve developed a habit of breaking. My heart wants to be free, but to be free, I have to break from that narrow spotlight.
I have to remind myself that there is more than just what my poor vision can see.
Somewhere in the mix of all the heartache and confusion and constant pressure and grief, I became a wanderer. By nature, I’m straight-laced, rule following, people pleasing, to-do list making, and anal retentive. Life saw that and decided to shed me of it, and over the past five years since I’ve been in a blender— or as someone else said— being drug through the dirt, a lot of the buttons and the lists and the perfection have fallen off. It’s rid me of my need to constantly be more. Or be perfect. Or be what people want me to be, because frankly, when you are dragging through the dirt, your only energy goes to survive.
Life will do that to you. It knocks your feet right out from under you, and you’re left, reaching your arms out to brace yourself.
I wander because I need to know that there is more than these four walls and that there is more than my circumstances.
Deep down, I know it. Theoretically, I understand that there is so much more than my problems, and even bigger— there is so much more than this world. I know that I am one person— small, even tiny in the grand scheme of the earth, and I know that within 200, even 100 years, no one here will be saying my name.
I know all of this, but sometimes, the fog sets in, and it’s thick, and my mind frantically races around, my brain like a control room, little people rushing to fix all the mechanisms and switches, and throwing their hands up in the air, because sometimes there are no explanations, and sometimes it really is too hard, and sometimes, no matter how strong we are, we do have limits that say, surrender.
When life does this, and the little brain people can’t operate and give up, I hit the road.
With sometimes only twenty minutes notice, I throw my toddler in the car, and we hit the back roads, and we drive to the beach. We run, we chase seagulls, his giggles trailing in the dewy breeze. We let the water kiss our feet with the rise and fall of the tide, and we sit, hands running through the sand, and eyes looking toward the horizon.
The vastness of the ocean. The fervor and excitement of my little boy. The sand running through my hands. The sun, gently shining down on our faces.
And with that, I can breathe.
This place refocuses me on the profound magnificence of this world, the trivial of the problems of this life, and the fact that there is so, so much more.
Like a breath, we are here, and like a breath, we will leave. There is more than my circumstances. There is more than problems. There is more than heartache. There is a world filled with beauty and joy and things beyond my imagination, and beyond that, there is even more.
I am small. This world is big. Suddenly the spotlight fades, peace surrounds me, and I am no longer the focus. I remember that there is more, and this more is so much better.
This piece was originally published on Scribbles & Crumbs.