The Path Traveled

As the end of the year draws near, I like many others, start to reflect over the events of the past year. The good, the bad, the ugly. This year, has superseded most years and brought me a lot of firsts.

At the beginning of 2015, I looked down a path that I could not see completely as it wound into the darkness of woods and ferns and birds.

It was with lots of thinking and over thinking, and planning and grasping at intuition that was being drowned out by sound and confusion that I made my way slowly (and in some cases — not cautiously) down the dirt road.

I packed up my little apartment and handed it off to a moving company. Then followed them a few days later in a fully packed SUV with my runt calico of 19 years (20 now). She spent the better part of 3 days bundled into a soft blanket in a small dog crate as I made my first of two solo roads trip to my new chosen home half way across the country.

phaelen_roadtripIt was the first time since I entered the Air Force that I chose to move into the unknown: no friends, no family, no certainty in which to fall back on. I chose to explore this path with no safety net using only my intuition for guidance.

My friends and family that I left back on the east coast were both perplexed and admiring of my current path. While they could not understand my decision to move half way across the country, I think they were a little jealous of my freedom and courage to do so.

This path I have chosen has been easy and difficult. There were times I was not sure I chose the correct road. I was alone, lost, hurting, and unsure of my inner thoughts. I refused to cave and I learned how to quiet my anxiety and move outside my comfort zone.

While I don’t think I’m in a sunny glen quite yet, I am positive that the trees are thinning out and letting the sun in.

I have found a great doctor who listened to me and I am finally getting healthier, stronger — I was almost convinced I would never be healthy again. Through my own due diligence to cure my thyroid disease, I have found a community of people with the same issues. Hypothyroid Mom was just the tip of the tree in moving me in the right direction. I started following one thin trail after another; it lead me to change my eating habits (giving up sugar — fructose specifically — has been a life changer for me). I Quit Sugar has literally made me better, confident, and full of energy.

As my body started to feel better and stronger, I conquered other issues. I have grown and settled back into the person I lost years ago as my thyroid played havoc with my body, mind, and spirit.

I am calmer and more focused at work. I have started to excel at my job again and it has lead to a more leadership role. I have found patience to teach people my job and the best practices.

I am putting focus on what I truly love — writing. Writing posts, writing short shorts (my friends call them poems — but that’s a debate for another time), writing short stories, writing just for the sake of seeing my thoughts on paper (or in this case — on the web). Some people even read them — who knew?

I have met a few people, who seem to have the same common interest I do. Coffee, biking, playing games on Friday night, or just in general — hanging out. They are turning out to be a great group of friends and the road is a little less scary, and a little less lonely.

With each mile I travel, I feel stronger. I can hear my inner voice a little clearer and while I still don’t know where this path will lead, I know that I chose the right one for me.

Every now and then, I can hear the clear sounds of a meadow ahead. Birds in the trees and water rippling in the stream. I am starting to enjoy the walk amoungst the trees instead of fearing the darkness between the tall redwoods.

I am enjoying this path and looking forward to the next fork in the road.

Ooooo look there’s a small trail over there — that’s 2016. That looks to be a really great path….


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