Turn Around.

Year Two. Month Three. #SEA.

I am on a trail somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, tearing through the branches of an overgrown path, my feet plowing through mud and rain is sloshing down my face. At least, I think it's rain. It could be tears.

I am walking this trail as fast as I can, although I appear to be lost. I head deeper and deeper into the forest, almost running, my legs sometimes ankle deep in the muck. I keep going. My ears are ringing with silence and fear.

It's my one day off from being on a plane.

I'm trying to enjoy nature, but I am exhausted. And frustrated. And terrified that this path I have chosen is not for me.

I am barely home these days. I jump from plane to plane, trip to trip, adventure to adventure. Out on the road, the thrill of the unknown has dulled, and my big, exciting hotel room often feel more like a prison cell. I am lonely and alone. I miss my boyfriend and my cat and all the lazy weekend nights with friends, sipping wine and laughing about the "good ol' days."

People sound amazed when I tell them that I just got back from Seoul, South Korea, hopped on a plane to overnight in Las Vegas and Sacramento, onwards to work a trip in Chicago, Calgary and Monterrey, Mexico.

"Oh, you have such a hard life!" Is the usual friendly sarcasm, to which I smile and laugh, trying to think of something to say.

I try to pretend like it's fun, and sometimes it is.

But here's my secret: lately, it's not so fun. I miss home.

The honeymoon stage is wearing off, and I am left with the bare bones of this job.

I am always gone.

I am in hotel rooms hundreds, if not thousands of miles away from home.

I miss out on birthdays, weddings, showers, holidays, life events.

I miss out on relationships.

I am in debt because of this job.

I live from paycheck to paycheck.

I feel trapped, financially.

I worry about the future.

I have to make hard decisions about my life.


As I come crashing through the thicket of the dark path, I hit yet another muddy snag. The trail is half a foot deep with rainwater and muck. There's no way around and I have no idea where the path goes. I am tired of going onwards, promising myself that it will get better. My phone doesn't even work out here and I have no idea if this path will lead anywhere rewarding. I could turn around, right now.

I could quit.

I stand, my chest heaving with sobs. I look up, my vision obscured by the trees and the rain.

I can't do this.

But then I feel a hand. My boyfriend, just as muddy and confused as I am, ready to brave the path with me.

Do you want to keep going? He asks.

Because I will keep going on this path with you, if you want.

It's up to you.

So we keep going. We splash through the mud, and I actually giggle as the cold goop slides in over my shoe and squishes between my toes. We plod on, laughing as we become soaked by the rain.

It's going to be okay.

The path isn't any easier, but if you have good people around you, you'll be okay.


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