This walk is harder than I had thought it would be. It is not physically demanding (not yet, anyway), but it is emotionally draining for me. I am by nature an introvert, so I have to force myself to interact with others. I generally find the experience interesting and rewarding, but it takes a lot out of me. I can only be with people for so long, and then I have to pull back and regroup. I need to think and pray and write, in order to process the events.
The walk is particularly stressful because nearly everything is alien to me. We have been going to places that I never knew existed. I am meeting people who are decidedly strange to me. The schedule is very flexible. There is a sort of chaos that underlies the whole enterprise. The composition of the group changes frequently. I have control over almost nothing. Every day brings new surprises.
This situation is in some ways attractive to me. I am never bored. I learning new things constantly. I am often challenged by the words and actions of the other walkers. I have seen things of marvelous beauty. I have been treated with love and respect. I have received unexpected generosity.
The hardest thing for me is to connect with the other walkers. Each of us has a unique background. Sometimes it feels like we have nothing in common. I have already had a confrontation with one individual. That situation is not yet resolved. I still don’t know my place in the group. This may be partially due to the fact that everything is so fluid. I am always wondering what I am supposed to do next.
I am trying to be open to whatever happens. I am trying to make decisions with my intuition, and not overanalyze the situation. This often uncomfortable for me. I struggle with it.