Today I found myself completely and utterly lost in the French countryside.
And I’m not talking about the lovey-dovey “I lost myself in the magnificent views” kind of lost. I mean – I literally walked down the wrong road and found myself in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by vineyards, sheep and the loveliest wildflowers I’ve ever stumbled upon. I didn’t even realize it at first. I was walking along, caught up in my own thoughts when I suddenly noticed just how strange and unfamiliar my surroundings were.
For a moment I stood there, listening to the beating of my own heart (thu-thu-thump, thu-thu-thump), willing it to slow down and allow me a moment of peace to simply take in the rolling fields all around me. And something truly spectacular happened. My heart LISTENED to my mind. I put a hand to my pulse point and took deep breaths, eyes closed, as slowly yet surely my heart rate slowed. “It’s OK” I whispered to myself over and over. “You know the way back, you’ll figure it out”. And logically, I could. If I simply traced my steps back into town, I could take the right road and within no more than 10 minutes be back at the B&B.
Or…and this is a big or…I could meander my way through the countryside, let my thoughts run wild and free (as they so rarely do) and not worry.
Now, I’m a worrier who comes from a long line of worriers (not to be mistaken with warrior). I rarely do well with the completely unknown, worrying about every possible outcome in any and all situations. For a few moments I was pretty convinced that a serial killer was waiting just around the next corner, stalking and lurking, just waiting for a foolish Canadian girl to stumble across his cave of doom. (Luckily my over-active imagination is rarely, if ever, accurate in it’s worries).
This was a big step for me. But, I’m all about leaping right out of my comfort zone so…I DID IT.
I literally got lost in the views of the French countryside.
They were absolutely perfect. Inspiring. Picturesque and everything I’ve ever wanted from France. I swear to you, for the 25 minutes it took me to find my bearings and make my way back, my heart was the most content it’s ever been. My mind was quiet, so quiet. I wandered down the country lane, not a single person in sight, not a car to pass me by, listening to the beat of my own heart (thu-thump, thu-thump) allowing my mind to stay empty and clear and oh-so-blissfully quiet. It was a much needed break.
You see, my mind is constantly whirling. I think that’s why I’ve never slept well – my brain is too busy over-thinking every second of the day that’s just ended to allow me to drift peacefully off to sleepland. Who needs more than 5 hours of sleep at a time anyhow?!
When I eventually made it back to the B&B I felt…how to describe it? Content?
I felt as if the weight that I’ve carried on my shoulders for so long now had been somewhat lightened. The load was a little less. I felt as though I could breathe a bit easier (if I was huffing it was thanks to the killer hill my out-of-shape self had to walk up). I’ve noticed that more and more recently. There seem to be all these minuscule moments of contentment and accomplishment that are slowly chipping away at the fear and anxiety and self-hate I’ve carried around since, seemingly, the beginning of time.
It makes me want to go back in time and tell my 20 year old self to drop everything and travel. Don’t drink your sorrows away – get lost in the French countryside instead – a much healthier coping method.
Now I lie in bed, my incredible bed in this stunning B&B, in a bit of a (surprisingly WHOLE30 compliant) French food coma, relaxed and cautiously optimistic that perhaps I will sleep a full-nights sleep.
Today I got completely and utterly lost.
The world didn’t come to an end.
I didn’t have an anxiety attack.
I wasn’t kidnapped.
I found my way back, with a peaceful heart and a quiet mind. Perhaps I need to get lost more often?