An introduction to The Holy Land
Tomorrow marks one full year since I reached The Holy Land and ultimately began a journey that was to change me forever. I went on this tour as a spectator. A spectator in my own life and a spectator in what this trip truly meant. I travelled with a group of very religious people but for me I went out of curiosity. I love to travel and to me it was an opportunity for pastures new. When else would I get to travel somewhere like this?! Somewhere we all learn about in school but wouldn’t travel to alone. I went as a spectator but returned whole.
Over the next ten days I will post my journal writing from each day of The Holy Land. It’s one year since I went on a journey which changed my life forever. This introduction post is to recall what shape I was in before we left.
I was all over the place mentally, emotionally and physically. I was happy enough but I was so lost in myself. This time last year I was pushing through running a business I had lost interest in running. It was going well but it no longer felt right. I felt like a complete stranger trying to build this career I did not recognise or want. However, I didn’t know what else to do. I had no direction. I felt I had come so far doing this, I suppose I need to keep doing it; but it was breaking me.
Every fibre of my being was in agony. The stress of being in this business that I didn’t want seeped through every pore. I was carrying this weight around and it was choking me. I was content with my life situation, my house, my boyfriend but something felt wrong. This business had taken over my whole life to the point I didn’t know how to get out and I was drowning.
Closing it down was even more agonising; how could I do that? I’d look like a total joke, a complete failure. On the outside it looked fantastic; I had won an award for Longford’s best young entrepreneur for setting up the business, I had been hired by Electric Picnic for two years in a row to be their official blogger, I was shortlisted for other awards but on the inside I was panicking. It didn’t feel right and I didn’t feel me.
I felt like a forced version of myself, this digital entrepreneur set for great things. This business person in a suit jacket and dress that I was bursting out of because I was now at the heaviest I had ever been. A serious person who dresses well for work and attends meetings. When the reality was I hated the clothes, the meetings drove me demented and passed the point of utterly uncomfortable and I felt the least creative I had ever been.
I felt exposed to the world and vulnerable; like I was on constant watch and ready to be torn down. Imposter syndrome took its toll and my confidence was shattered. At this stage I was nine months into the throws of chronic illness; chronic fatigue, pain and anxiety consumed my every day. My thoughts raced, my inner child cried and I needed out.
This trip to The Holy Land was booked a year in advance of this. It was booked at a time when I felt great and was happy in the business, and it came at the time it was most meant to. The day before we travelled I was considering all types of careers from retail to lifeguarding; anything to get out of digital media.
I needed to escape and this trip granted me that. What I did not know at this stage was just the escape it was about to offer me. An overwhelming peace was about to come, one which has stayed with me to the present day but one which at that time I could not comprehend.
This is my story of how The Holy Land changed my life over ten days of journalling. Read on to day one.