This, I think, is the third hardest time in my life. The first, I won’t talk about here, but it was a long time ago with a girl who feels like someone other than me now. The second was in May of 2007 when my mom suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage and I spent 5 weeks in Arizona during her recovery.

This is so hard. I have good moments and sad moments in every day, spend some parts of every day laughing and others crying. I have times when I’m sure I’ve gone crazy and that the silent judgment I feel from some friends over my decisions and wild plans must be justified. I think about backing out regularly and just running back to the safety of everything I’ve given up…as if that’s an option.

It’s harder now than it was at the beginning- and that makes sense when you think about it. Then I was just relieved to not be fighting anymore. It felt like a huge weight lifted from my shoulders to be able to have peace and not have to mentally and emotionally wrestle to try to solve the unsolvable. And there was an initial burst of excitement at the realization that I could do anything now. I probably gave the false impression to some that I didn’t give a shit. I did and I do.

My friend Kate told me something a few years ago that I’ll never forget. She said that grieving is non-linear, and I think that’s true. The idea that it’s supposed to “get a little easier everyday” just sets you up for thinking something’s wrong with you if you don’t feel bad in the first week but do a month in. It ends up feeling like a setback when that’s just part of the process as it really is: non-linear. I’ve been trying to remember that, especially now, a couple months in, when it’s become harder. I try not to forecast misery, but I don’t expect to be “done” either.

I’m starting to take solid steps toward my independent life and that’s both sad and scary. Sad, because some of my travel plans were things we planned to do together. Scary, not because of the solo aspect, but because they are things I’ve dreamed of doing for half my life. I’ve built them up, put them on a pedestal, but still prioritized away from them until now. And now that I’m finally going to do them I hope I find them worth the sacrifice and that I don’t fall on my face. I feel in my heart of hearts that they are and that I won’t…in the good moments.

I haven’t made it easy on myself either. I’ve learned some valuable things about myself through this. I try to rush through uncomfortable things. I’m okay dealing with uncomfortable things, but I attempt to compartmentalize them into a clump and bang out the work of them so I can get on to the happier things. Note to self- this isn’t working. Clumping a string of tough things together is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting, and is a sure-fire way to feel totally off-balance. It also means cutting myself off for that time, from the very things and people that could help boost me through it- and that’s a recipe for some low lows…and head-up-my-own-ass-syndrome, and that’s no good for the world either.

Part of what’s been neglected in this, has been this blog. You wouldn’t know it from my absence, but this blog is my second priority, after family and friends, in my life right now. It’s a symbol of my finally daring to step forward and put on display for whomever will read it, my creativity. Until now, my creative professional life has been collaborative, and ultimately someone else could take the credit or the blame for a given project. This is just me, although admittedly for some time, I used Francisco as a bit of a shield.

I’m not entirely comfortable here on this stage yet. Especially when I’m feeling raw, and that’s another reason for absences between posts. I also get a little trapped by the idea that this is supposed to be a travel blog, but as my friend Sara reminded me, this is part of my journey.

So here’s what I’m vowing now to myself and to you so I’ll be accountable. I will write at least one post per week. I can’t promise that it will fit into a neat and tidy travel category, but it’ll definitely be part of the journey.

Thanks Ayngelina for your kind emails and encouragement to commit to this, to Kent and Caanan, Erica, Beth, Andi, and Kirsten, for awesome “checking in” emails, and to all of you sweet people for supporting, reading, and commenting. :)

68 Responses to “I’m Still Here- And Hopefully Not as Crazy as Joaquin Phoenix”

Comments (68)
  1. You are on your way and you will do so well. I’ll keep following like so many others do.

  2. Keep posting – I’ll keep reading.

  3. Count me among your “fans”. I’ll keep reading.

  4. always from your heart. i am excited for this non-linear journey, endlessly circular experience of life, caterpillar-cocoon-butterfly-cocoon-butterfly-caterpillar-butterfly life route, and for your adventures.

    • thanks cam. soooo grateful you’re my friend, for all our laughs & cries, and for your support here :)

  5. Nothing’s linear – we all just need it to be like that in our heads to make stuff make sense. And then it doesn’t make sense!
    We’ll be waiting for your posts to hit the feedreader; whatever they may be about.

  6. I know it seems so incredibly tough to feel like you are on a stage but you are surrounded with supporters. If there´s one thing I learned from blogging is that writing about the tough aspects of life helps makes sense of them.

    • thanks ayngelina- you were right to give me this gentle kick in the pants. there’s some relief already and having to get it down on “paper” does help sort things out. definitely appreciate knowing i have the support :)

  7. like robin said, keep posting and we will keep reading! love the blog, and i am really looking forward to seeing what direction you take it, whether travel or otherwise. i admire your courage to write about such tough things.

    • thanks jamie! man it’s so liberating to address, head-on, these concerns/fears and have them go up in smoke with affirmation like this.
      here i’ve been twisting myself in knots trying to fit in a box and putting off writing in part because of them. there’s a lesson for sure. thanks friend :)

  8. It’ll be great to keep reading posts from you, but don’t forget that you own the blog. It doesn’t own you. You are in control and you have no obligation to anyone but yourself to write publicly. You can write it out and post, not write it out, or write it out and NOT post. I know. Crazy. You can do that!

    I say this because I went through a phase (I also went through this with Flickr) where I thought if I didn’t keep writing on my blog that the world would end…well, uh, I mean I’d stop getting clicks and therefore not be visible and therefore not be “on the scene” as a writer/ have no credibility or voice. Come on, I told myself, this is crazy talk (which WAS totally crazy if I was speaking to myself). The blog is just a report or a platform to talk about who you are, what you do or what you are feeling about what you are doing. It’s not you. As such, you get to say what happens on the blog. If you don’t feel like writing about travel and you want to write about something else, go for it. In the end, the blog as a whole will reflect your personality and what you care about simply because you made it.
    I hope that wasn’t too high horse-ity!

    • thanks marie! that’s not too high horse-ity for me! what i’m getting from this is essentially a perspective checkup…and that’s a good thing.
      that i shouldn’t feel obligated to deliver something specific, that i can feel free to craft it as i like or not even at all for a while. that is a
      beautiful, supportive message to give and i definitely appreciate it :)

  9. I’m sorry to hear the difficulties you’re going through. I’m in no position to offer advice, but I can wish you a fast healing process.

    I endured a subarachnoid bleed when I was 13, so I know something about the terror of that injury. It left me with a constant migraine for about a year.

    • thanks keith- really appreciate the well wishes! so sorry to hear you endured a s.bleed at 13. wow that must have been scary at that age!
      knowing that i’ve been through tougher stuff like that with my mom, highlights the temporary nature of the space i’m in now and that’s definitely helpful
      when i’m in the thick of it. it’s not fun, but it’s part of the process and i’ll make it :)

  10. I am so happy to see your new post! What a wonderful adventure awaits you — and us (your readers), as we follow along. I don’t mind waiting for your new updates, and I don’t think others do either. You are one of the coolest, kick-ass women that I know. Despite what you have gone through (going through), the journey alone that you are undertaking is something that would set most of us off-balance for a while. Take the time you need to re-focus, and then tear off that rear-view mirror. I’m not sure if the world will be ready, but I know you will be; and when you feel like your not — we’re (me for sure) are here! Oh, and remember…roads are not linear either, so I’ll definitely see you at the intersections!!

    • thanks bucket! you’re one of the best friends a gal could ever ask for. what a beautiful comment. and i’d better see you at the
      intersections and even in the passenger seat. life’s just better with you around. :)

  11. I think we’re just happy to see that you are posting Lorna and so that we can keep up with your journey – whatever that may be. Take as much time as you need, lady. You’re read when you are ready.

    And on the positive side, be glad you’re not Charlie Sheen crazy? <3 xoxo

    • thanks erica! i’ve learned another lesson here. it definitely feels better to stay connected. today has felt decadent just reading, tweeting, DMing with fellow
      tweeps and being available again. totally good for my soul- thanks for being a big part of that!
      and p.s. winner winner sheen dinner! ;)

  12. So sorry to hear about your struggle, but happy to see you back online!
    As someone who is constantly doubting what she is doing (like, annoyingly so), I found that my blog has been really helpful in easing some of those doubts. Not only does it give me purpose (the blog made me quit my job! I swear!), but it also provides me with a cheerleading squad of people to back me up & reassure me when I think I’m crazy. My readers are the people keeping me from packing up & heading home (so I’m blaming them instead of myself if things don’t work out…. see how handy that is?)

    • thanks sally! that is handy! ;) ha ha. yeah, the biggest lesson learned today i think is to just put myself out there and not retreat every time i’m
      dealing with the tough stuff. why cut myself off from cheerleaders?! today has felt soooooooo much better than the last couple few weeks. i’m taking a play out of your play book from now on :)

  13. Good to hear from you, Lorna — looking forward to reading your posts!

  14. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of crazy, as long as it’s the good crazy not the I’m-not-coping kind of crazy.
    Like your other fans, I’m happy to wait for your posts and read all about your travel and non-travel adventures. I feel quite uplifted after reading all the supportive comments this post has elicited so far.
    As for your emotional wellbeing, I’ve discovered that life continues, even if you stop paddling for a while. Your life will be joyful again, probably not in a linear way though.

    • Yes! I don’t think emotions are linear. Like grief, happiness is also non-linear :D

    • thanks dropout! trying to be compassionate and patient with myself, even if things do feel a bit unpredictable and not always comfortable, and still definitely coping- phew! :) i too feel uplifted by everyone’s comments- including yours! and if others can benefit from them too it feels good. in fact, talked with kent & caanan yesterday and got good with the idea that if any of this- my posts, the comments, etc. can benefit anyone else, make them feel less isolated or crazy themselves, that would have made any discomfort on my end from putting myself out there worth while. thanks so much for positive words :)

  15. Actually, this is my favorite kind of travel blog: a “real” one, detailing the whole journey. Keep it up :D

    • wow carla! your one line packed a lot of relief “punch.” thanks so much for that. i’ll certainly try :)

  16. Ah… How we wish we were, once again, chilling with you over an awesome burrito and bourbon ice cream on a perfectly sun-shiny day.

    Stress comes from resisting whatever is going on in the present moment. Take it from us – we can be good at that :) Allow whatever you are feeling to be felt and know that your online e-army is standing in support.

    • me too pumpkins! soon enough- although next time in seattle or vancouver for tbex :) thank you SO much for everything. can’t believe you called me last night- you’re wonderful. i love that line “stress comes from resisting whatever is going on at the present moment.” that hit home. balance and slowin’ it down is the new name of the game. and can i just say-
      i LOVE LOVE LOVE my online e-army, and i’m a soldier for ALL of you :)

  17. Great to hear from you, dear! I can completely relate to your notes about grieving being “non-linear.” My mother passed away several years ago and, while it isn’t the same as the death of a relationship, it is a greiving situation that just ebbs and flows with time. I don’t even realize it sometimes when I cry at some emotional part of a television show that it’s that grief bubbling to the surface subconsciously. Nothing in our lives exists separately from the others. We just collect these pieces of grief (from losses both great and small) and they shape us.
    I’ll be very happy to read non-travel posts about your journey. Have been looking for non-travel blogs to read in general as I want to expand my connections – looking forward to more from you =)

    • thanks andrea! so sorry about your mom. :( thanks so much for sharing your feelings around it. i haven’t had that particular loss, but those feelings you describe are spot on for me (and i know not only me) right now. it’s so important to feel understood, and the thing i have to remember is that the only way to do that is to express myself, however uncomfortable it may be, to others. a happy added by-product of that would be if that reading this with all these fab comments, provides comfort for someone else. :)
      thanks for the encouragement to loosen the travel-specific post restriction (self-imposed ha ha). think i’m just going to let myself out of the box and see what happens.

  18. Oh darling, you don’t ever have to thank me!!! I’m so sorry that you’re in pain. I wish there was something I could do to take it all away, but unfortunately you must go through it. It WILL make you a better, stronger person though. I know you know that. Please feel free to email me ANY time. Sending you love!!!

    • thanks andi! thanking you and other wonderful people is good for me- it’s like counting my blessings :) i know you’re so right about this. when i look back on other tough times i’ve had, i know they’ve molded and shaped me into who i am now, and while i’m FAR from perfect ;) i’m better and stronger than i was before. hope you know i’m happy to reciprocate any time, and to put in equal amounts and more of cheerleading for your happy times :)

  19. So glad to have you back and I think you’re very brave for writing about the hard stuff, which shows what a strong person you are. I also think you’re right that grief is not linear, it’s not something that has rhyme or reason to it.

    • thanks so much laurel! wouldn’t it feel so much better if it were predictable? i think that’s how notions like it “get(s) a little easier everyday” are created :)

  20. I’m so happy to hear you will be posting regularly again. I agree that your posts don’t always have to be travel related. I think people can connect more with them when you write about your emotions and being honest about where you are right now in your life. I want you to know that you are always welcome to email me anytime if you need someone to chat with. I can completely relate to how hard it can be after splitting with a partner that has been your best friend for so many years. I was married for 9 years and it took me a long time to recover from the split. Don’t let anybody tell you how long it should take to recover because everybody is in a different situation and deals with things differently. xoxo

    • thanks so much christy! for the welcome back, the affirmation on spreading out and taking up more topic space, and the offer to connect offline. i’m absolutely going to take you up on it when i’m back from my shoot. xoxo back at you :)

  21. The good thing about the travel community is that, even though we all got here b/c of the travel passion, we’re interested in each other’s lives as friends. Writing about non-travel things just makes you that much more relatable so we want to read about your travel journey as well as your non-travel journey. I hope this next set of plans helps you heal.

    • thanks ali! yeah, you know, when you put it like that i think, “of course i want to read about the other stuff!” that’s what rounds out the experience of reading the adventures of our online pals. i personally really love to have a bigger window in to the life of the blogger. funny how when it’s my own stuff, i forget that. thanks for the support, reminder, and the freedom that comes with it :)

  22. I cannot AMEN this enough. Not even close to enough. To say that you are an inspiration and an encouragement to me, would be the understatement of the century. And that you included me at the end of this? I am speechless.

    Lorna, I wish nothing but the VERY best for you in the future. You more than most people I have met in the travel community seem to deserve it. But more than that, I think you will always pay it forward and I believe God or the universe or fate WILL honour that. Pulling for you, crossing fingers for you and when I find the strength to pray – often including you. XOXO (Also, looking forward to any and all posts you publish – whether infrequent or often.)

    • omg kirsten you’re going to make me cry! happy tears :) wow do i ever feel fortunate! i really don’t know how to thank you for it, except to give you a big hug when we finally meet, reciprocate whenever needed or offer a victory cheer, and pay it forward big time. that’s one of the things i’m working on with the next plan- how i can best give back. xoxo

      • I think it’s difficult to feel one has ever given back ENOUGH when one is the recipient of great blessing. It’s best to just “pay it forward” in my opinion. Otherwise, it becomes like a checks and balances system where one is always trying to one-up the other. Just know that I am happy to be here for you whenever I can. And I am happy you have been there for me. In fact, I keep coming back to re-read this post over and over. A sort of convincing myself that it’s ok my own grief still has not found completion. I have days where I sob like a wounded child. Some days are just harder than others. But your words comfort me and help me feel less alone. I particularly LOVED this paragraph … enough to quote it on my tumblr (with a link and proper authorship of course):

        • totally agree kirsten! so with you in mind much of the time, i will gladly pay it forward :) i’m so sorry that you have those days. you’re not alone- email me any time. and who’s to say what completion even means in situations like these, right? glad you get comfort from this- it really makes it worth having put my feelings on display. thanks so much for quoting me- i’m so incredibly honored. :)

  23. Thank you for the bravest, most honest post I’ve seen in years. You will be ok even if it doesn’t seem like it right now.

    All the best

    • wow- thank you so much sam! i can’t tell you how much i appreciate it. i’m going to re-read your comment whenever i’m in doubt or scared to write. thank you :)

  24. Good post. I don’t think it’s ever easy to open up and share your hopes and fears with everyone. I think the whole writing process can be quite liberating, though. Well..on a whole other note…I’ll be around when you’re ready to hang out or something. Miss you.

    • miss you too melissa! thanks so much :) i know you know how hard this is for me to do- we’ve talked about it! and that’s exactly what i mean about spending too much time rushing through the tough stuff and missing out on being with people i care about. stopping that now! i’ll give you a jingle when i’m back from my shoot. :)

  25. Good to see you back Lorna. I was thinking of you just the other day. Hang in there!

    • oh nancie thank you so much- i’m honored that you would… and i’m doing my best to work my way through it :)

  26. Good step Lorna! Keep strong and I look forward to reading the future realities of your journey.

  27. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I wish you happiness.

  28. Thanks so much for sharing this – I know what you are going through and am facing a similar situation at the moment, so Ive found it quite inspiring to read this.

    One quote which always helps me in tough times is ‘When you’re going through hell, keep going’, I try to repeat it until I feel a little better.

    Good luck on your journey and keep fighting! : )

  29. I admire you, Lorna….the way you process and share is so authentic. I think that you’re right; grief is not linear. And that’s what makes it so sucky. Anyway, sounds like you’re doing great in that you’re in touch with what you’re feeling and looking ahead at the same time. I wish you the best and look forward to reading your upcoming posts!

    • thanks so much lisa! wish it didn’t FEEL so authentic- ha ha! nah, i know i can take it and it’s ultimately part of the healing.
      appreciate the kind words :)

  30. I thikn your friend is very insightful when she describes grief as non-linear. Very true but I’ve never heard it described like that. Best wishes for your fight through this period and I know that you’ll come out stronger and better.

    • thanks mark! yeah, i’d never heard it described that way either, but it just made so much sense to me. really appreciate
      your encouragement :)

  31. Even if it has absolutely nothing to do with travel, I think writing once a week is good for the soul. Even if you just see a guy walking down the street with a mullet, blog about it. I promise I’ll read! Though I have never been married so cannot begin to relate, I’ve had my heart broken, and it doesn’t always get easier with time. Some days are good. Some days are bad. But I always believe you come out stronger and there are inevitably wonderful times ahead. Sending love and hugs your way <3

    • thanks so much laura! really appreciate that SO much- your loyalty, relating to what i’m experiencing, and the love & hugs. right back at ya :) p.s. funny how life works sometimes. got some AMAZING news today and working on a new post now :)

  32. It’s great to have you back Lorna. You’re dead right, this is your journey and you’re getting back in the saddle at a time when it’s probably the last thing you feel up to doing is a potent symbol of your ability to do it and steer a confident course forward. I’ve had my share of doubts about blogging lately for entirely different reasons and often find the internal pressure and passing of time which compounds it quite paralysing.
    Know that this is a great step forward and that the thing that makes us all return here is your voice and the person it reflects, not your actual travels. Post once a week if you want to, but just promise me that you will keep at it and allow us to tag along for the ride.

    • oh jools, thanks so much! oh the crap internal pressure that grows exponentially with time- i hear you! and you’re so right- it WAS the last thing i felt like doing even though i really wanted to want to. gosh, i really can’t believe i’m reading all these amazing things!
      thanks for all the freedom your words bring. i have a feeling that the next time i’m feeling that way, i’ll think of all this, not let the pressure build up, and just put myself out there. soooooo appreciate that. i promise to keep it up :)

Leave a Reply



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

© 2011 the roamantics. header photos by alegre rivas Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha