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Getting Unstuck

That’s what I call it. When I feel I want to run away and leave reality behind for a few moments. The great escape.

When I was kid, like little, I was terrible at reading. It was something I had to practice over and over and over. This is something that greatly influenced how I study as an adult. I read things two or three times, sometimes a fourth before an exam.

Last year, as I was explaining this to a professor she was shocked because I had been getting A’s on everything and I told her, “yeah, this is why.”

When reading became easy and fun, it became an escape. The easier reading became, the easier writing became – and that’s really how I found my voice.

I feel things deeply. I see the world widely and vibrantly. Sometimes that’s exhausting and sometimes it’s exciting. I take what I see and I write about it. My journal has filled up fast this year – especially this summer and I have a new soft-bound waiting patiently.

My journal goes with me everywhere – backpack, purse, overnight bag…you thought I carried a tote bag for my snacks – it’s really for the snacks AND my journal.

Mount Wachusett is not a huge mountain, but it’s only about 25 minutes north from where I live – so for what I need, it’s perfect. I’ve taken most of the trails and I always see something new. My times have improved and some times I let myself just stop and sit and snap some photos.

I think I’ve gone on about 10 or so hikes since August and at this point I think I may only get one or two more in before my body laughs and says “it’s cold, sit down”.

Last month, I decided I needed to feel some larger freedom. I had been feeling trapped. Just a very odd stuckness. While I climb to the summit at Wachusett every time and see the windmills and houses below, it’s challenging to see far out because of the angles. I knew climbing there wouldn’t give me what I needed this time.

I’ve had been told by former coworkers that Mount Monadnock is the hike that everyone needs to do. So on a whim, I decided to go there. That changed everything.

It’s peak is 3,165 feet. It feels like rock climbing a good portion of the way up. It really is a good metaphor for falling down is easy, but getting up is challenging.

That trip steamrolled some switches to be turned on and others to be turned off – there’s a few that I think the electrical was just torn out completely.

I felt brave enough to finish writing this. I felt capable of letting go of some things I had been holding onto that weren’t serving me.

Forgiveness is a weird thing, but I think it helps you heal and be a mentally healthier you. It’s not about the other person – they don’t need to know you forgive them. But it’s about what’s inside you.

You can feel angry – that’s totally allowed. You can be sad or disappointed. I think it’s helpful to identify the emotion your feeling, what may be causing it and what you want to do next. The problem comes when you can’t get out of that cycle.

Gratitude is not something I thought I would feel in the forgiveness cycle, but as much as I am wishy-washy on how I feel about gratitude – our experiences teach us something and you know how I feel about education/

As a kid you learn touching a hot stove burns, so you theoretically you don’t do it again… emotions are bit more messy. They can be hard to recognize and sometimes even when we recognize them it can be hard to determine what other triggers set them off.

So the mountains helps. Journaling helps. Reading helps.

Sometimes letting myself have the big escape helps, somehow it always helps me find my way back.

And since it’s been a while since I’ve signed.

Here’s my <3,

Cristina

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