27 Sep

One Giant Funk

I’m in a funk. I’m struggling and can’t seem to get a handle on why. I’ve been feeling it rise for quite some time but have been unable to stem the tide. I feel so far away from everything I want to feel and, right now, it feels more like a Giant Chasm than a Giant Step from here to there.

My eyes are often full of tears.

I realized the other day that this is the first time in my entire life that I am not sure that everything is going to work out okay. Every step I’ve taken before now has always, in my mind, had a guarantee of success. Yes, there have been plenty of sacrifices and lots of hard work, but I’ve always known that it would out; that the work and sacrifice would pay off and that I would end up exactly where I thought I would. The path has always been paved and I just had to follow it.

My heart is filled with doubt and fear.

I don’t feel that way right now. I’m not entirely sure that the work we’re putting in and the sacrifices we are making are going to result in success. I’m not even sure I know what success would look like. Right now we seem to just be keeping our heads above water; our path isn’t clear but we’re dog-paddling through hoping that some island will appear on the horizon. Our island. The one with a big, flashing, sign over it.

Because this is totally how it works, right?

My head says to just push through it.

I knew it wouldn’t always be easy. I knew there would be days like this. Weeks like this. But months like this?

This is the hard part, right? This is the part where we just have to put our heads down and get it done. Push through. Wait it out. Identify what we’re missing and work toward the pieces that we know will help.

We made a list; make more money, find a nice place to settle for a while, make friends.

Easy peasy.


28 thoughts on “One Giant Funk

  1. Hey Gillian, good on you for raising the flag! I think much of my discomfort when I am in a funk comes from resisting it. Being aware of all the feelings and contributing factors, and then being open about it is absolutely the way through. Every crisis I have ever had (big or small) has led me to deeper awareness, a bit more wisdom and a lot more inner strength. I know the same will happen for you xo
    Sarah Somewhere recently posted..Where I want to be

    • Thanks Sarah. You’re right, I’ve been resisting it and am trying a new approach by embracing it and talking about it. You have definitely inspired me and I am trying to channel some of your strength and calm.

  2. Hey Gillian,

    I can’t claim to know what you are going through but I do feel empathy for your situation as I have been in funks before. I think the important thing is that you are able to recognize these feelings and recognize what the root causes are. As long as you and Jason continue to follow your hearts in whatever path you are taking and only focus on things that are within your control, the rest will take care of itself. Listen to that inner voice, it knows what you need to get out of it.
    We too are about to settle for a while in Melbourne, work, and try to make some friends. We are going to recharge the batteries so to speak and try and get involved in stuff that we have always had an interest in learning.
    Send me a message on Facebook if you ever want to chat.
    Ross recently posted..The 10 Best Free Things To Do In New Zealand: South Island

    • Thanks Ross. It is about recognizing what I feel and finding the root cause. I helps to talk about it – and to write about it. Thanks for your support.

  3. Aw, Gillian. I’m sure what you’re feeling is totally normal and reasonable given how big of a leap you’ve made from your previous life. I don’t have any answers for you, but I am cheering you on from afar, hoping you find what you need and want from this whole experience. It’s hard to not even be able to see the next step, but I trust it’ll appear for you when it needs to. Sending you lots of love and hope!!
    Carmel recently posted..IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT PAELLA

    • Thanks Carmel. I do think it’s normal and that’s part of why I wanted to write. It is comforting for me to hear that others also struggle (although I, of course, wish they didn’t have to either!) so I wanted to show that we all do. All of us.

  4. Just putting it into words and getting it out of your head will be a good start

    It’ll all work out perfectly.

    The universe has to line up all the pieces for you

    • Thanks Rob. Yes, I do feel a little bit better this afternoon after getting it out. Admitting what is going on is a good step forward. Well, that and a beer. :)

  5. I am right there with you Gillian. My family and I have been traveling almost 6 months now and I hit a rough patch about a month ago. Still struggling with fear and a bunch of self doubt. Your list is a good one and your sharing. Things will get better, something good will happen and you’ll be back on track.
    Tracey recently posted..5 Tips to Get Your First House Sit

  6. Gillian, I’m so sorry to hear about your ‘funk’ – it’s never a good place to be in mentally :s If anything the last few years (and certainly recent months of the ‘funk’) has taught me is to address it, ride the wave for however long it takes, be kind to yourself from the small to big ways, surround yourself with supportive and encouraging friends and the rest will take care of itself.

    I hope you feel a little lighter for admitting to yourself and ‘writing it out’ of your system.
    Toni – Reclaiming Your Future recently posted..It’s ok to be disappointed you didn’t get the job

    • Thanks Toni. I’m definitely trying the ‘be kind to yourself’ and am finding small ways to see through it. You’re right – we just need to ride the wave until it’s over.

  7. Gillian,

    First time poster, long time reader. My husband and I have been traveling for 13 months now and I am starting to dread going back in January 2015. I was talking to someone recently about what the hell I want to do when we go back. Well I don’t want to stop traveling or go back to my old life. My hubby does.

    Anyway, my friend told me I was in the “waiting room” and it’s an analogy I keep going back to. It gives me comfort to think that something will come up (even if I don’t yet know what that is). I just am trying to keep an open mind and try not to panic too much. Not easy but I want to remember why I am doing this in the first place.

    Thank yiu for writing about this. It helps to read others are going through similar stuff.

    • Thanks Del. Yes, I keep trying to remember why we set off again – how it felt when we weren’t following what we wanted and how much I wanted this. It does help give me perspective.

  8. Ciao Gillian, I understand you perfectly because recently I felt exactly the same way and I probably still do. The fact that you are facing your feelings and not ignoring them is a very important step. I know how it feels, but in some ways I’m sure that it’ll work out just fine if not even perfectly. As you said few times, it’s not always easy but you’ll get through it, I’m positive! :)
    Franca recently posted..LOCATE CAVEY – Amsterdam

    • Thanks Franca. I’m sorry you’re feeling funky too – it’s no fun at all!! Writing this has helped – I wasn’t sure it would but it feels good to really face it. I’m also taking steps to deal with the anxiety and to try to keep moving forward. I hope you feel better soon too!

  9. I can only imagine your struggle right now, and I hear your sadness and it breaks my heart that I’m not there to hug you right now. My belief in you both is deep; you will find that path that will once again be paved. Just remember that you need to get out of your head and follow your heart:) I’m sure you will be much better when you see me in a very short time and I can give you that big hug! Stay strong my friend, you have so much strength and love together that nothing can go wrong.

    • Thanks Jana. I am relying on the trust and strength that friends like you send my way. I am VERY much looking forward to seeing you soon!! Much love.

  10. Gillian,
    All of the worlds greatest explorers must have felt the same at some point, self doubt, anxiety about tomorrow, etc. while you and Jason have not been looking for new worlds under her majesty’s flag, it has been a journey of discovery. Remember to not discount any options, the life you left as a whole may not have worked for you, but pieces of it may. Things like a home base, and extended friends and family are important for us humans.
    And if you need a respite, the door is open as always.

    Best always,

    • Thanks Peter. That’s what I’m doing – trying to see which pieces we are really missing and figuring out how to get them back. I think it’s what you pointed out; a home base, a connection to friends, and a regular routine. We’re working towards it – we just need to be patient. You may find us on your couch again yet! :)

  11. Hi, Gillian. I wanted to acknowledge your willingness to admit these feelings in a public capacity; very brave I think. After all, my guess is friends and family (and many others) think you are “living the dream” and admitting it’s not always what it’s cracked up to be isn’t easy.

    I hope you’re not beating yourself up, as I knew that feeling, too. You feel like you made your dream come true, so shouldn’t you be loving it? Especially when you’re in situations that you know many others would kill to be in, like an extended stay in Mexico, for example. ;) You feel like you’re complaining if you admit you’re struggling in some capacity, when others don’t have the freedom you do.

    I too gave up everything up and left Canada in August 2013. I got a text message awhile back from a friend asking if I was still “living the dream” and it made me laugh. What I didn’t tell him is that I’m currently working for 45 cents more than minimum wage doing housekeeping to get by to allow myself to continue to travel. Wonder if he would still think I’m living the dream if he knew?

    I explained to a friend back home that although life is very different now than it used to be, I still have the same feelings and thoughts I did at home: Self-doubt, worries about money, feeling a bit directionless about life in general, self-esteem issues, etc. What is different is my location. Your thoughts and feelings follow you wherever you go.

    My work visa ends next month, and then Canada is the only country I can legally work in, and frankly, I’m not ready to go home. Feeling directionless, and worried about how long I can make it on my limited savings. As I’m not a digital nomad (and hesitate to try to be one), I’ll have to go home eventually. It’s not home; it’s that I’m worried about getting stuck in the 9-to-5 again. I digress…

    Sorry, this is getting long-winded and tangent-y… I think you get what I’m saying. It’s like the adage: Be careful what you wish for. I made my dream (long-term travel) come true, too, and it’s hard to admit that even though you’re grateful, it isn’t 100% easy or fun. So again, I applaud you for your honest admission. :)

    • Thanks Dana. Yes, part of the reason it was so hard to write about is that it’s hard to admit that being out here ‘living the dream’ is really freaking hard sometimes!! I always said that I’d rather be out here trying than back home wondering if we could…well, really I’d rather be out here succeeding than be back home wondering! It’s hard to feel like we’re failing and, really, I think we need to reframe – we’ve done some great things, made some strides toward creating a sustainable income, and have just hit a hiccup. That’s part of my strategy; look to the successes, release the anxiety, stop spending so much energy trying NOT to cry (I’m not a crier and I just need to let it go and release already!), and keep moving forward.

      I wish you success also. To find a way through the anxiety and uncertainty, to overcome the self-doubt and realize what you have achieved, and to keep moving forward. Best of luck!

  12. Somehow this didn’t show up in my feed reader so I missed this when you posted it a few days ago…

    I just wanted to say that I’m sorry you’ve been feeling in a funk lately, but just wanted you to know that you are in good company (provided my company is good!). Tony & I are determined to blaze our own trail and live a life of location independence, but that means working for ourselves and doing a lot of freelance work, and generally just living a life of limbo a lot of the time. And I am a planner and someone who likes concrete goals and milestones and things I can rely on, so on good days I wake up and feel optimistic and like we will succeed just because were so darned determined not to fail… but on bad days, which are about 50% of days, I wake up and feel uneasy and like everything good we have achieved is bound to fail and be taken away from us and that we will somehow be stuck always feeling poor and never living the life we really want. Whenever I feel like this I remind myself I can’t let my fears of what might happen (or not happen) stop me from trying and putting forth the best effort I can to build the life I want for myself right now. I know you know the same thing, but I hope knowing that you have so many of us rooting for you makes things a little easier!
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..Chewing the Fat with A Cruising Couple!

    • Thanks Steph. It does help knowing people are rooting for us, and I know that they are because I know that I root for so many people and wish, and wish, for their success. Here’s to less bad days and more good days for all of us!

  13. Hi Gillian. I read this a few days ago but am just getting to a computer to comment. I’m not sure what to say. I FEEL YOU. I really do. It’s my own fear about our time in Mexico and our real push to work for ourselves. So much work and no guarantee that anything will work out. It’s scary. It sucks. It’s hard because, like you say, everything else that came before required hard work but you KNEW that if you worked hard and made some sacrifices you’d get there. Now, even with hard work and sacrifices you may not. I think that is probably what stops most people from even trying. Keep walking, friend.
    Kim recently posted..And our next adventure is…

    • Thanks Kim. I do try to tell myself that at least we’re trying. The fear and doubt might be winning right now but now we’re here rather than letting it win before we even set out.

  14. G&J,
    Nice to see your friends responding to your Funkiness.
    I’ve had a few in my life and I have learned to not ignore it but take it as a sign to evaluate. I can intellectually sort through
    the numerous possible sources of “the Funk”. There comes the time to honestly look at possibilities and let your heart decide. It has been good to me so far. If I can’t fix something I learn how to live with it.

    Katelyn and I were in Victoria for our father/daughter day in late August. We walked through the Empress and passed the Bengal Room.
    I mentioned our Soiree evenings to her. She was semi-interested (13 year old)but did understand how friends could get together and melt away 6 hours of good times.

    Love you both,

    • Thanks Ron. That’s kind of been the process; separating out the emotion from the rest of it and thinking it through clearly. I think we’re on our way now.

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