I've been gone for 3 days.
72 full hours of me playing with the on and off button in my brain. Many of those hours questioning every single thing about who and what I am.
The consistent theme of personal discovery for me this year is that I'm a "runner" (which is seriously ironic because I hate running more than anything in life). I have a tendency to seek a place where I don't have to face anything.
"You don't have a safe place", said the therapist that I spilled the beans to last month. "No wonder you're a runner - you'll move around always trying to find your spot until you feel safe, accepted and loved."
I finally thought I found my safe place, and 3 days ago my safe place went up in flames and I did the only thing I do best.
Of course when your house is up in flames, the most obvious answer is "well, I can't live here anymore - so I may as well buy a new house with new neighbours and start fresh". You feel lost and hopeless, you feel stripped down and confused. You just can't go back in that house.
The weird thing is that I ran back to a place that I already knew wasn't safe. The love and attention poured over me only made me feel worse. For every happy moment that filtered through my brain it was shut down with me having to excuse myself to cry. The social anxiety kicks in because of course you think everyone can see your lips quivering, your throat swelling up and the tears building up in your eyes.
So, naturally, I run from that situation to the nearest bathroom and take a few deep breaths. I have a few minutes to calm down and I pick up my phone..
The notifications start going off and old friends reach out to re-connect. It's been almost 2 years since I've seen some of these people who were supposed to be my best friends. "Why are you here? How long are you home for?"
Don't ask - but meet me at 5:45 tomorrow morning.
4:15 AM. My alarm goes off and it's a crazy familiar sound. The sound that sparks the the first question of the day
"Why am I doing this again?
I was supposed to be taking the week off. I wasn't even sure if this was something I could keep doing. But I can't not show up now. I peel my eyes open, crawl out of bed and into some pants and make my way into the city.
It was a bit of a funny experience. I'm used to waking up and getting a hike in to the top of a mountain to watch the sun sneak over the peaks in the horizon. Today, I parked my car, walked 30 seconds through a field and sat down.
After a few moments of settling in and soaking in the views around me, it felt like time stopped. It didn't matter where I was or who I was with, sunrise is sunrise. It's beautiful & it's seen by those who seek it. You have to put in a bit of work for it but the payout is always worth it.
"This is incredible, I want to come out here every Monday before work"
"I didn't even know this was here"
"This was worth the 4 AM wakeup call"
It clicked. I was running to stand still. I tried to escape the devastating pain of heartbreak and vulnerability. I tried to escape for a break and space, and I found myself right back in my new routine in a old city - letting out a sigh of relief in the one thing that gave me peace, Chasing Sunrise.
It was listening in to those conversations and hearing words and feelings people expressed. Chasing Sunrise creates moments that change your life. Those were the same words and feelings that I said almost a year ago today.
A year ago I met people that changed my life in more ways than they could ever know, in more ways that I have even come to realize still. Their energy and "why" was captivating and I needed to help spread the word.
Today I remembered my "why".
I want people to experience joy.
I want to touch peoples lives.
I want to chase sunrise.
read more about Chasing Sunrise here