Camino de Santiago 6 – The new or old me?

In English this time.. I started writing in English and I kept going after noticing. Sorry for the grammar and spelling… I’m learning by doing.

We are more than 4 weeks on the way. It feels like a few days and at the same time it feels like months, because so many things happened in the last 4 weeks.

What a beautiful and amazing experience is this. I feel so alive. I can’t described what the Camino de Santiago does with me and to my dad. It’s beautiful to do this together with him. We are having great and honest conversations, we are silent, we walk, we drink, we eat, we lay in the grass, we meet people, we learn, we sing, we share, we dream, we sleep. My dad is doing things I’ve never seen him doing before. Way out of his comfort zone, he is enjoying himself… He sings around the campfire, sleeps in a tipi or on the floor, he is growing a beard and he is hugging everyone we meet. He keeps on surprising me. He has a lot of ideas and inspiration. I’m changing, my dad is changing and I know and I feel my mom at home is changing too.

We deciding day by day how far or how long we want to walk. We don’t make plans. We see how it goes and how our feet are doing. Almost every morning we are the last ones in the alberque (hostel) and sometimes they kick us out. Some people are waking up at 05:00- 05:30, packing there backpacks in a rush and leaving in the dark. Almost running. Sometimes we see them a few days later, because of injuries what have slowed them down.

We are very slow and taking our time. We start with a fresh sqeezed orange juice and a breakfast in a cafe in the village we slept or in the next village. Along the way we stop serval times to rest a bit, to take our shoes off, to eat nuts, fruit or dark chocolate and listen to the silence. We drinking a cup of thee or cappuccino somewhere and carry on till we feel it’s enough for today.

I’m so thankful for all the experience and the people we’ve met. We stay in beautiful places and I slept several times outside, in a hammock or in the gras under the stars. Sleeping outside feels so good, it makes me wanting to sleep outside wherever I can. We had the last weeks nice sunny weather, but during the nights it can be very very cold. (Thank you Kurt that I could borrow your warm ‘bullet proof’ sleeping bag!) It started to rain, hail and snow the last few days. With the wind it feels like winter. So different than last weeks. But good too, another experience and feeling. We are so happy that we didn’t left all the warm clothes behind, because we need al the layers now, inclusive rain suit, beanie and cloves. Unbelievable that it can change that quick. It will be warm and sunny again in a few days.

The walks, the conversations, the meetings, the nights under the stars and to be surrounded by nature makes me think… About my life, my fears, my doubts, my dreams. One day in feel great, the other day sad. Sometimes I know exactly what I want and sometimes I have know idea where I’m going. I try to follow my heart, but it seems not that easy sometimes. I judge myself a lot for the things I’m doing and the choices I make and I’m afraid to be judged by other people.

I notice now that I ask myself often what other people think of me if I do this or that. It makes me feel separate from myself and therefor with others. My heart is telling me exactly where to go and what to do, but I’m getting lost by worrying, judging myself and being afraid to follow my own path.

I try to remind myself that we all have to walk our own path, even if it seems so different and isn’t understood by our peers. The camino makes me realize that I can not be any longer what others aspect of me, or maybe better said what I think people aspect from me (since no one is actually saying what I should do). I somehow always seem to choose the “opposite” than almost everyone around me. Most of the time I can’t tell or explain why, it’s just a strong feeling. It always leads me to beautiful places, moments and experiences. And I always wonder why I had to fear, worry and judge so much. I have many dreams and so much trust, believe and energy to realize them… Till the moment I start analyzing, I see my dream disappearing like snow in the sun.

After so many walks and talks I realize that I can not longer wear that fake costume. It’s just an illusion that It protects me. It actually is a wall that I put up and hide behind. By wearing the costume I feel meer confident, stronger, ‘no one can hurt me’ pretending to be someone who I want to be or think I am, but who
I’m not…..  I am just afraid to be myself.

I realize that a lot of friends and other people around me seeing me the most of the time with costume. It keeps me from telling my truth, how I really feel and what I really want. I feel a bit naked by taking this costume off and by writing this, but I’m done with it. 

We walked by the Cruz de Fierro yesterday, a wooden pole with a iron cross on top of it. A hill of thousands of stones. Every pilgrim leaves something behind, a stone or something else, something with a meaning, the reason why they’re walking the camino. Something what they carried all the way with them. An end of a phase or chapter in their life’s. Ready for a new one. I did that too, I carried a big mountain crystal with me. I didn’t really know in the beginning
what my reasons for walking this camino were and maybe I still don’t know what this al means and does to me. But it feels like leaving behind my costume, the old Roeleke. The me who I don’t longer need to be. I’m ready for the new phase a new chapter, being who I really am, even if I don’t now who I really am. I’m not longer afraid to go my own way, telling my truth and to follow my dreams.
It’s okay to feel fear on the way, but I don’t let the fear and doubts longer deciding where I’m going. Getting lost and making mistakes is part of it and that is okay.

I found this message in my backpack this morning, a camino friend wrote me..
“Face your way bravery, don’t fear others critics and above all don’t stop yourself because of your own critics”


And I saw this quote today… What made me cry..

“Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place”

By for now,

Hi, My name is Roeleke (the newest version;-)

11 thoughts on “Camino de Santiago 6 – The new or old me?

  1. Pauline says:

    Hee Roeleke,

    Heb je verhalen over de tocht gelezen:)
    Dit verhaal vond ik erg mooi, eerlijk en gedurfd.
    Kwetsbaar maar daardoor juist krachtig!
    En een hele mooie quote.

    Veel plezier nog en geniet van deze mooie reis!

    Groetjes Pauline

  2. Matt Hopkinson says:

    Hi Roele,
    Thanks for writing in english so fools like me can understand. It isearly, but I was woken by one of those 5.30 risers turning on the light and making a lot of noise with his packing, so thought I would check my mail and things. I hope we see you and Franz again before too long – Santiago tomorrow afternoon I guess for us. We were talking last night about how hard it will be to leave and not be able to explain how we fel about the camino and about what we have experienced to friends and family. So much of this is about sharing the experience with those around you. You are lucky to have your dad with you, of course…
    But I think these camino families we build will last forever in their way, and if you ever need a place to stay in London, or wherever I happen to be, my house is yours.
    Say hi to Franz and to Anthony.
    love, Matt

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