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Scotland Day One - Expectations

A year ago today I left on a solo trip to Scotland. I have not shared much from that incredibly moving trip, nor much at all as I struggle through how I feel about social media. As I’ve started to reflect on that trip, now a year later, I want to start to share. Over the next week and a half I will be going back through my trip, day by day, to share some of the landscapes I saw, what I was thinking about and writing about and my reflections on it all now. I plan to start every day by reading what I journaled about on that day last year and then sitting down and writing about my thoughts on it all now. I’ll pick a few images that really reflect that day, and then share it all for you.

I’ve been mulling over thoughts on sharing this trip for a while now. In some ways, this trip felt too big to share, and also too personal. I’ve literally spent a year slowly sifting through my photos, rereading what I wrote during the time, and reflecting on it all as I’ve made some big life transitions. I’ve started a post here and there to try to start sharing it, but I never felt like I was able to express any of it well enough.

As with many things in my life, I’ve probably been overthinking it, but I worry we can too easily slip into under-thinking things in this day and age as well.

And as I’ve turned these thoughts over and over in my head, I’ve built up quite an expectation for what this should be, on how much I should share, how I should go about this, what I would personally feel from the experience, all of it.

And as I started reading my day one entry from a year ago, I had to laugh at myself because we never change in our essence as humans. Day one of that trip I was also writing about overthinking and trying to manage my expectations. Knowing that I build things up in my head and overthink and overdream and then try to squash all of that to mitigate future hurt when things don’t stack up how I hoped.

But one thing that trip taught me was that I can dream largely, fully, deeply. And sometimes the expectations will be met, sometimes the reality will actually blow me away with how much better it turns out, sometimes things will fall short and it will hurt. And all of that is okay.

It doesn’t mean that I should diminish that hoping and wishing, nor that side of myself that naturally tries to. Our instincts are usually the perfect guide to follow, when we’re still and listening to them. I learned to embrace my overthinking and over-planning and over-expecting. And I also embraced a quieter side of me that is often unheard next to all of that noise that showed me to also just be, just breathe, listen, reflect. And then put one foot in front of the other to move forward and onward.

Holding both of these parts of me, that balance, was something I had never truly experienced before.

As I’ve overthought this, one thing that has come to mind is that I can use this as a way of re-introducing myself. I’ve been quiet for so long on social media, and even before that I can’t honestly say that anything I put out on these platforms had any true depth to who I am. I want this to be a way to reacquaint with the people I care about and re-introduce you to who I am more fully today.

Adult-hood is funny. We carry within ourselves every version of who we have been for everyone, every expectation we hold of who we are and who we could be, and also every expectation that we think others hold of us too. And we morph and mold and muddle our way through all of these forms of ourselves and it is so easy to get lost, or to feel that burden. We never seem to be able to just lay it all out on the table in front of us: what we love, what we hope for, what we think, how we deeply feel, what we’re longing for, what saddens us, what we are questioning. Who we are in our deepest essence.

Partly, I think, because we don’t know for ourselves. But what if there is a path of discovering where we try to just lay it all out there in full vulnerability and don’t just bear it all within ourselves. What if we face that deep fear of vulnerability and press through it and meet ourselves and each other more fully.

So as I juggle all of these expectations for myself and for this practice in the next few weeks, I want to invite you to sit down with me at this table where I’ll lay out as much as I can here and we can see what we can find.

My hopes for this practice are threefold:

To re-introduce myself through this journey through Scotland as I weave in my journey of the last year too and who I am today as I sit down and write.

To show you this incredible, wondrous trip through Scotland and just offer you thoughts and images to sit with.

To find connection with you as I take you through my rambling thoughts on life, art, nature, and what it means and feels like to be human.

I hope you’ll join me on this journey, I’m looking forward to seeing what it will bring. With that last point above about connection - I would love for this to open many conversations, so at any point if you’re feeling like you’d like to reach out to me, please do so. I’d love to sift though all of this stuff that makes up life with you more fully.


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