what now …

what now ...For those of you who have been reading this since the beginning of my last adventure, thank you, it’s greatly appreciated. If this is the first piece you’ve seen, I’d recommend taking some time and starting back at the beginning. You see, this trip turned out to be something more than I had originally planned. My second blog entry was titled I left expecting one thing, but returned having found another … and that’s exactly what I did.

Prior to leaving, I had a feeling I was going to meet someone during my travels. My friends always joke with me that I’m going to fall in love with some random stranger in another country, and ride off into the sunset. Fairy tale thinking, I know, but my travels the year prior had opened my mind to the thought of that possibility. With that in mind, I was also looking forward to just jetting town. I start to get stifled after sitting around for too long, and even though I had just returned home from Denver a few days earlier, I was antsy to get out again.

I returned to my home-state of New Jersey feeling just OK! 3 weeks in Europe and I was just feeling OK, what gives? I was being asked how my trip was, but was unsure of how to answer that. On one hand I did have fun, met some beautiful faces and took in a lot of scenery, but on the other hand I was a mess on the inside. I always go away knowing, whatever issues I’m leaving will still be there when I get back, however this would be the first time it all followed me somewhere.

3 weeks is a long time to be away, but when I got home, it felt like the trip didn’t even happen. Was it a dream, or was it reality? Was I not present enough in my surroundings that everything just sped by, or was I so entrenched in everything, that I just lost track of time? I look back at my pictures now and still can’t believe any of it was real. It wasn’t till I was back home though, that I could make any sense of it.

After my late night activities in Amsterdam at the beginning of the trip, I struggled. I engaged in things I normally wouldn’t have done. I was in a real battle with my higher self. I was beating myself up. I’ve separated from my older self over the past few years, and currently stand suspended between two worlds. I don’t regret my decisions, and if I had to do it over again I would, but I didn’t expect the fallout. For the remainder of the trip I just couldn’t shake the heaviness. I tried so hard, but to no avail.

As the days continued on, the skies were gray and a bitter chill filled the air. I was visiting some pretty mournful sites as well. Jewish deportation centers, the beaches along Normandy, cemeteries, and also helping out the homeless. Was I picking up a lot of this energy? Quite possibly! As I’ve learned over the past year, I’m a visual and sensual type of guy. I’m also an empath, and can pick up on energies that others may or may not feel. I was actually asked while travelling if I was a medium. I wouldn’t go that far.

I’d see couples holding hands or sharing smiles together and it hurt my heart. Believe me I know, not everything appears at it seems, but it still tugged at the strings. I’d see groups of people going about their day and ask myself, why not me? Why is it so fucking hard for me to fit in? Why can’t I be like everyone else?

It wouldn’t be till about a week later that I finally broke. I went for an early morning hike in the mountains, to clear my head. At the time it was just what I needed, but on my way home I began to feel a sense of dread. I stopped and had a beer at the local pub and an immediate wave of grief and sorrow engulfed me. I went home and broke down. I cried for maybe 10 minutes, telling myself what a failure I was. I knew this wasn’t true, however, energy was finally being cleared.

After my mini breakdown, a cloud finally lifted. For the first time in a while, here I was stripped down to the bones again. I was able to connect with that feeling, and knew exactly where it was coming from.

Remember I had said I went looking for one thing, but found another? Well I did. It was me!

I spent a lot of time on the trip alone. It felt as if the universe was almost blocking me from being around people. I had travelled alone before, so I never really had any issues, but this time it was different. It was if she was forcing me to be by myself. Telling me to feel the hurt, accept the loneliness, and always remember, you’re an endless supply of love.

It’s been a really, really long time since I’ve been on my own. I spent much of my last relationship feeling alone, however I always had the crutch there. I don’t have that crutch anymore, and I haven’t for 2 years now. If I wanted to be real with myself, it’s probably been about 17 years since I’ve been in these waters. I’ve been navigating these stormy seas though with the only person that really matters, me. And you know what? I’m fucking proud of myself! I dove directly into the muck and mess that was breeding inside of me.

Not only had I found out more about myself, but I also left a lot of my past in Eastern Europe. I came home no longer wanting to write about some of the events. Those people didn’t break my heart, I was only breaking my own. I hadn’t had a sense of self worth, I had no boundaries. I allowed others to dictate to me, how I was to be treated. Certain words weren’t resonating with me anymore. Broken, replaced with mended, alone, replaced with guided, lost, replaced with hopeful.

There are days I joke about wishing I had never went down the path of self-healing and discovery, but once you’re walking it, there’s no turning back. As I heal the relationship with myself first, I continue to hit speed-bumps. They’re just tests though, to see if I have learned the lessons of my past. When I started this journey I kept failing, so I’d be presented with the same challenges again and again. Different faces, same problems, same outcome. Well it’s finally beginning to change. I’m beginning to realize my self worth. I’m beginning to realize I matter. I’m beginning to see the seeds I planted sprouting.

For anyone out there struggling to find their way, or constantly feeling lost, just remember there are others out there feeling the same. You’ll find your way. Trust me! I’m finally beginning to find mine. Reach out and keep trying to connect. You may not be a part of the masses, but you’re becoming a part of something bigger.

Have no fear and open your eyes and observe the glowing room
Through the blood that runs through your eyelids, I guess it’s time to awake
Moving hours with vacant hands just for the chance just to sleep again
Drag my feet across the earth yeah I guess that nothings restored
Make my way through my designer home
To the heart of my captivity
Where I am both prisoner and warden
All I need is the air inside my lungs, or a cigarette
Life is blank without the flame.
It’s ok cause I am still within the womb
Watching from the inside, the inside
The great things wait just past the horizon
They lose their glow when the lights hit their skin
Outstretched hands I’ll flee and to nothing I will open the door.

~ Norma Jean (Sun Dies, Blood Moon)


2 thoughts on “what now …

  1. Ryan that was an outstanding piece, your writing is very moving and something I am going share with my daughter If that’s ok? I knew you were an empath the moment I meet you, I could see it in your eyes. Always stay true too you, something I’ve learned to do. Keep writing. ✌️😇


    1. Thank you! Sure, share it with whomever. My message is meant to be spread. It’s a very dark time and I just want to share a little more light and love through my experiences. I’ve lived in the dark long enough. We’re all on different paths and timelines, but if I can at least plant seeds, it’s then on the individual to make them grow.


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