Been on the road for about five days now. I’ve traveled at least two thousand miles of road since I started on this adventure. I’m beyond happy that I’ve been able to get this far and do what I’ve been wanting to do for years.

Colorado is an amazing place. So many different people and influences, so much history. I’ve never met such friendly people, either. It’s bizarre to me that coming out here has been such a full hundred-eighty-out experience from anywhere else I’ve ever been.

I’ve been trying my best not to end-up stuck in my head, but I’d be lying if I said I’ve been successful. I notice that while I am discovering that I give decreasing amounts of weight to what I perceive others’ opinions of me to be, they still hold the kind of weight that can smash right through the thickest of armor. I still hold myself to a standard that isn’t aligned with my personal values or my beliefs. I can hold all kinds of opinions of other people, their capabilities, and intentions but that same kind of empathy is seldom extended to myself.

I still think to myself “Yeah, you look pretty good–but that person you’ve been eyeing for the last 10 minutes is way out of your pay-grade”. There’s still this pernicious lie that permeates my self-image and makes it hard for me to get out of my head and out of my comfort zone. Talking to someone new still scares the absolute shit out of me if it doesn’t have something to do with work or something physical like climbing or snow sports. When it comes to anything even remotely close to personal with people I don’t already know well, it turns into an exercise in anxiety. I still have a lot of people-pleasing behaviors that show up at the worst possible times and lead me into situations I’d rather not be in.

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