By the time this is posted, I should be about an hour in to a 12-mile walk with the group I joined recently…

Instead, I’ve just arrived home and I’m sat rather comfortably infront of my laptop, typing this!

This walk was due to start at 1oam, with the meeting point being Parkway Station in Bristol. According to Google Maps, it would take me 33 minutes to get there so, I said to myself last night and this morning that I would leave at 9.15, to get there are early and change my footwear, pay for parking and find a place to wait for the others to arrive. Even if I drove or got a bus to a local train station (I’ve never been on a train alone), I believe that the cost of a ticket would outweigh the amount of fuel consumed and the parking charges as well.

At 9.15am, I was just coming out of the bathroom, in spite of the fact that I got myself out of bed this morning at 7.40. Plenty of time for preparation, indeed… However, that’s not the game I tend to play. Procrastination plagues my life and even my daily routine at times.

Eventually, I left home in my van at almost 9.30. There was a slim chance that I would even reach the car park in time. I tried my trick of adding five-miles to every maximum speed that I past but, I think I lost any added time I might have saved by turning right at one roundabout too early, just before the station. All I could hope was that their train from Temple Meads would be delayed, just as it was when I did the other walk in Keynsham recently.

It was bang on 10am as I drove in to the station, looking for a place to park. My late-night research had told me to look for the short term bays, as I would probably only be there for six-hours at most but, they weren’t marked clearly enough for me. Although, sometimes, I do look too hard when it can pay to step back and look at where the sign is actually pointing…

After one trip through the entire car parking site (Do I park under cover? Can I park under cover? Bloody speed bumps!), I did a U-turn to complete my lap and, as I passed a small walkway leading down from the station, I noticed a line of water-proofed back-packers cross my sight. One of them (who I recognised from my first walk) even looked my way.

I was too late.

Naturally, I got quite frustrated with myself on the journey home. I palmed (not punched) the steering wheel as I headed out of the station and off towards the M5 motorway. To be completely honest with you though, there was a part of me that wanted to miss it…

This was another walk, a bit like the last, where I knew that my friend from the group wasn’t going to be there. Sure, I’d probably recognise a few faces but, the majority would unlikely be people who I’d spoken to previously.

I put my procrastination this morning down to my anxiety, which I have felt growing inside of me these past few weeks since I walked away from a ‘difficult’ session with my counsellor (I have intentions to find a new one). As much as I enjoy a walk, I’m still afraid of interacting with other people. I fear that I’m not good enough and that people aren’t really interested in what I have to say – because, from my average experiences, that is what happens; people look away, lose interest and the conversation falls on its head. I’m afraid that people will only give me one chance to impress because, that’s also been my experience. People can be very quick to assume and, with some, it’s very hard for them to change their mind or to accept other views.

Instead now, I’m back online and looking to complete another of the 8 Wild Walks Across the Mendip Hills, as there are still a few I haven’t yet done. That should keep me occupied plus, I’ll be comfortable enough within my own skin and presence. I do need to check in with my friend as well because I know she’s going through a very hard time at the minute and is in great danger of shutting herself off. Again, this is something I don’t wish to share on this blog because it’s her life and not mine. All I can tell you is how much I love and care for her, how much I want her to share with me how I’ll continue to make every effort to be there and listen. I mean, having to sit down in a pub with these people after the walk as well… It’s something I do fear and, as much as I’d like to avoid it each time, I know that I would become to settled within that routine of ‘avoidance‘, which would also bleed in to other areas of my life (if it hasn’t or doesn’t already)

I know, I need to look after myself as well. I’ve felt the tremors growing inside of me lately (in my writing class last week – even though I intentionally made the group laugh with my plot idea ;-)) and it’s not something I can ever remember feeling before. CBT, maybe even DBT, as there’s a lot to be said for being ‘mindful’ and accepting of our present time and space.

Hopefully, I’ll have some photos for you later and, I’ve got the day off tomorrow as well. My frustration passed soon after I left the station which, again, suggests that it was anxiety-related – in my opinion, anyway.


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