Whats wrong with me ?
Don’t worry, I havent lost the plot, anymore than I had when I came up with the idea to cycle aroud the world.
If I could sum up this post in a few sentences I would say something like:
” an honest reflection of my mental state and personality”
I wanted to share it in the hope that someone else may have, or have had the same experience.
I have an itch that grows and grows until suddenly it is a voice. An unrelenting voice that finds frustration, with the people that I briefly travel with. Otherwise normal, nice people. Forcing a conflict, and convicing me that im better off on my own.
At NO POINT do I feel that I am better than them, I often feel that I am the least acomolished and capable, and that everyday is a lesson. ( but thats for another post)
(Que mum frantically grabbing her phone to call me.)
It is a topic that I want to discuss in an serious, but also light hearted way. Heads up, there wont be any pictures. Soz.
Maybe those I have met or already know, that think im a bit weird, will find some answers in here. Perhaps I should make future people I meet read this first?
This trip was always meant to be a solo journey, but I wasnt going to turn away happy travel companions that I met en route, as I cant see that this is healthy or beneficial. Im still not supported by a team, group or car. Everything I need, I carry – you get the picture.
I wanted to set myself a huge challenge, an mamouth adventure. If im honest, in part to get over a relationship and lift my mood, out of what I was worried was becoming depresison.
So, after being inspired by Alastair Humphreys, I settled on cycling aound the world. In doing so, I wanted to raise money for charity, because I thought that this was an incredible opportunity to help others, aswell as myself.
On my adventure, I have traveled with a single person as well as In a group. No matter the number, I always inevitably feel frustrated and desperate to be on my own again. The bigger the group, the quicker the feeling. I’m concerned that this behaviour is destructive and don’t know how to address it.
Its easier if I give an example:
In the last few days, I have been traveling through the Pamirs with a group of five cyclists ( I will have a post on this soon too!) Like clock work, I suddenly become very frustrated with them. They are outright ignoring me, being rude and so on, my brain natters away.
I KNOW that I talk alot, and this can frustrate others, but being ignored is a real bug bearer for me. It makes me feel foolish, and I already do a good job of that on my own – without extra help. Before, its been a case of, speaking in a language – with others; that I don’t understand, and so I am excluded. Or even being unsafe on the road.
Im also aware that I can read way to much into a situation, aswell as being overly sensitive at times. (there goes my chance of wooing a potential girlfriend with my manly exploits of traveling the world by bike.)
So, I slept on it, but the next morning a further incident reaffirms my frustration. So at lunch, I do not eat in a Tea House with the others, instead I cycle on to have noodles and let them know that I’m saving money – also true.
This wasn’t unusual, as the fifth member of the group regularly did this – although I found it difficult to understand why at the beginning.
I found this time alone, INCREDIBLE. I looked at everything there was to see. Cycled at my own pace. Stopped to take photos, didn’t feel like I was holding anyone up, and didn’t have to stop for anyone when I was on a roll.
When the group reached me In the afternoon, I felt like there was tension hanging between us, like a silent fart. It wasn’t immediate but you knew it was there.
As the evening approached, we were all running on fumes. I rolled up to the group and explain that I will camp at the first opportinity and they should not wait for me. As the prior converataion of the day, had been to get as far as possible.
Releasing the brakes, the momentum took me over the crest and down towards the river. Where I stoppeed at the side of the road, and after entering a tired dream like state, decided to camp between the boulders on the bank. With the bike and bags in place, I glance back to see the others had the same idea, only 100 m behind me.
No one moved or motioned the other to move, we were all too tired. Plus I had started to relish time to myself in the evenings. I withdraw from the social activities, and atleast tonight I wont have to explain myself, or feel guilty for doing so.
I wake at the usual time, surprisingly, they are not ready. After 20 minutes, my urge for the bathroom gives me the go ahead to move on. I figure that cycling down the road for natures call, will allow for them to set off and catch me up.
Alone this morning, I glided slowly through the mountains and gazed at every peak on offer, as the sun slowly woke from its slumber. It was by far the best morning so far. Alone, but for the mountains.
When they caught up there was definate air of displeasure. There was a little conversation, served with a cold shoulder. Or so I felt.
So, I ask the group not to wait for today, should I fall behind for photos. I was craving the solitude once more. Hardly a mumour was made, but for the sound of gears turning, silence eerily fell upon us, and off they rode.
In my head, it goes round and round. Am I reading into this, something that isn’t there? Am I forcing a conflict to escape the confines of a group? Am I being a dick?
These are nice people, but I had felt ignored, foolish, angry and frustrated. If I had read this out of nothing, or been oversensitive, why was my mind doing this?
Then and there, I knew no matter what, that I needed to travel the next stage of the Pamirs on my own. The next few meetings and spectacular day alone, confirmed this.
But I’m left with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. That there is something wrong with my reasoning and judgement. Turning down companionship in such a way is harmful and just plain strange. How do you address that part of your mind or personality?
What is wrong with me?