“Expectations” (Day 7)

23 days left of the challenge. 24 days left of my 20s.

I have to say, I’m not taking that news very well. It’s not a feeling like “What the hell have I done (and not done) with my life!” it’s more of a culmination of everything that I’ve been through the past 10 years and the past 30. “The twenties” are a very formative time in a person’s life where they have the social freedom to literally do WHATEVER they want.

I mean, people are still gonna judge the shit out of you, but at least when you’re in your 20’s they excuse it for you, too.  Also, I know that this next step in my age progression means a lot more than a few more years of a simple life. As I get older I crave and search for meaning, and at times it feels like that means settling down somewhere in order to take root.

Potentially within the next 10 years I could be a dog owner, wife and mother.

On the other hand within the next 10 years I could be the weird older woman staying in the top bunk in your kid’s hostel room in Rio.

This birthday seems to be looming like a soggy cloud, ready to burst. I’m not scared of the rain it’s just I’m not sure if I’m wearing the right shoes is all.

Some of the boys at work were talking about celebrating another co-workers birthday the weekend of my birthday. I was really jealous. I wanted them to want to celebrate mine. They’ve known each other for years, I’ve been here for less than 5 months. I knew when I left the states I would be gone for this birthday and ultimately it’s not SUCH-A-BIG-DEAL… it just feels like it is. And there’s no point in roping people into celebrating your birth if they really don’t give a shit. Fair enough.

Edit: You still have time to send me some love!!!

The Duffster
Lot 1 Hutchison St
Coober Pedy, South Australia 5723

As far as challenges go – today was okay. Stable. I did have moments of forgetting I was eating vegan when a co-worker was cooking his chicken and it smelled so good I thought about going to the store to buy some, until I remembered I’m not eating meat right now.

I do enjoy the challenge aspect as it helps people like me stay on track. The stricter the guidelines the better. Plus I do feel different! I feel lighter and more in sync with my body and mind. Knowing I’m taking positive steps for myself is a very, very powerful feeling.

I took my last plastic container of “taco salad” with me to work for dinner with plans of getting a bowl of spinach and a side of veggies from the kitchen. They were out of spinach. Heartbroken but I was SO relieved I had brought at least the taco salad, because otherwise I would have literally had a pile of iceberg lettuce with broccoli and cauliflower for dinner. Which I essentially did have anyway… with taco salad on top! Still so good!

I booked the next part of my trip today. Busing from here to Uluru – Ayer’s Rock and then flying to Melbourne just before Christmas. The end is truly, truly near. After my stint here in Coober Pedy, South Australia I’m heading off for 4.5 months of travel adventure.

Lots of emotions go on with change. Even a change that may seem, from the outside – well welcomed. Truth of the matter is I’ve spent 5 months here in this very small town and even smaller work and living atmosphere. Living and working with the same people for 5 months brings  a lot of comfort and familiarity, quite quickly. So although leaving here on the 5 am bus December 16th will be bittersweeet it’ll be nowhere near the day I left Chicago waking up in a hotel room with 2 of my best friends and my boyfriend-at-the-time – what a tear filled morning that was!

I’m starting to realize I was flattened when I got here to the outback. I’ve been flat for a while and didn’t even know it. Now I feel like I’m getting the life pumped back into me and this challenge is to thank by clearing out negativity by taking away the bullshit in my head : “What should I eat for dinner? I’m starving, I’ll have a burger and fries.” :::EAT::: “Oh god, I can’t believe I ate all of that. I’m so fat. I suck at life. I’ll never loose weight. No one will ever love me. I guess I’ll go smoke a cigarette and sulk.”

Well, something like that. But without the self-deprecating cycle you free yourself up for other, lighter things. Making time to laugh and making time to take care of yourself. Noticing when other people are trying to be negative and you just are like “yep, done” and walk away.

That’s part of travel too – learning to be free. I’m going to the red center alone. I have no hopes of meeting up with another backpacker and making vast friends. I’m just going to see some beautiful nature, a famous part of Australia. If only it was that easy to not have those hopes and expectations about every thing else, too.

Until tomorrow – the first week down. =)

hummus, chickpea, cucumber, red onion and tomato wrap for brekkie
hummus, chickpea, cucumber, red onion and tomato wrap for brekkie
...and watermelon!
…and watermelon!

Tomorrow will be one week update pics, let’s see if there are visible changes and I’ll explain the physical ones!

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