Sunday 23 September, 2012
The next day I walked into the town of Dinar feeling lonely, uncomfortable, and out of place.I knew I needed some “alone time” to process something but I wasn’t sure what, so instead of looking for a public place to stay, I checked into a hotel and went straight up to my room.
I felt a now familiar pull. Go back to Cardak. Just spend time there and give up the walk. Part of me recognized how ridiculous that sentiment was. After all, Cardak was a small village of 3,000 people. I didn’t even speak the language. I would be bored with the place in less than a week. But the siren call of Cardak was almost as strong as the siren call of Denizli had been a week or two ago. I longed for the comfort of Cardak. I wanted to bathe in it’s familiarity for the rest of eternity.
Amidst the noise, the cold, rational Voice whispered faintly, “Listen to me now, let me drive.”
So I pulled out a pen and wrote a blog post:
There’s a book I love, absolutely love. I highly recommend it to just about anyone who will listen. It’s called “The War of Art,” by Steven Pressfield.
The book is a very quick, simple read. You never have to read it again, because the idea is so simple:
Whenever you try to do something worthwhile, the Resistance will do everything in its power to knock you off track. It will reason with you like a brilliant lawyer, or it will jam a gun in your face like a stick-up man, whatever it takes to throw you off track and put you back where you used to be.
The Resistance comes from inside you. It will never die. It will never go away. It is stronger than you are. Do not try to fight it. You will lose, and you will waste valuable time and energy that would have been better used getting your work done. So learn how to welcome the Resistance into the room, and continue working while it sits across the table from you, staring at you.
On this walk, the Resistance is with me at all times. Most of the time it appears in smaller ways, like yesterday morning in Gokcek, when I woke up and the air was so fresh and the grass was so soft I wondered if I could avoid walking for the day.
A couple of times, however, the Resistance hit me so hard I thought the walk would be over. One of those times was when I hurt my foot a couple weeks ago. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the panic and black despair that washed over me on that day. But they were just the Resistance, come to distract me from the clear thinking I’d need to get myself back on track. I stepped aside from them and spent the next few days nursing my foot back to health and chanting to myself, “calm down, just work the program.”
This morning the Resistance came in one of its more common forms, that in which I wake up worrying that A. I’m not walking far enough, and B. I’m spending too much money.
So I checked yet again, and for the 3-1/2 weeks I’ve been on the road, I’ve been covering 55 miles per week (my goal is 55-60 miles per week), and I’ve been spending $13 per day (which is what I’ve budgeted).
Even with the downtime to nurse my foot, and some unexpected hotel stays, I am hitting both of my targets: walk 55-60 miles per week, and spend $13 per day.
So at least until the Resistance hits me again, probably sometime later today, I am feeling good. Out here on the road anything can happen, and it usually does, but as long as I hit those two targets, that anything is fine.”
As I drifted off into sleep, I reminded myself of a key lesson I was learning:
Your emotions are going to fluctuate wildly on this trip, and they will be horribly inaccurate gauges of reality. So what you feel doesn’t matter nearly as much as keeping those key indicators on track.