I have done the work. I have learned my lessons. And I've dragged this out long enough. It's time to finish it.
Today, I reached my intended destination at 9:30 am. Talk about not expecting enough of myself. The day I planned my stops along this part of the Camino, I noticed there was a big hill, followed by a lot of ups and downs, and finally a steep descent. Instead of breaking the stage in half, requiring two days to complete, I broke it into three days. One day to climb up the big hill, one day for all the ups and downs at the top, and one day for the big descent. Often times the downhills are tougher than the uphills.
Definitely planned that one out of fear. When I reached the place I had planned to stay for the night, I knew it was ridiculous to stop that early, so I went ahead and finished the stage, walking down the big descent too. Turns out, it wasn't all that big. But that put me in the next town a day ahead of schedule. Thinking I could just be lazy and book a fancy hotel for a two night stay, that motivated me to really pick up the pace. I finished what I had planned to finish in two days in just one morning. I was here by noon. But there was one problem with my plan to be lazy in a fancy hotel for two nights. The nice hotels both had a room available for tonight, but were full tomorrow night.
Ok. Fine. I'll just stay in the nice hotel tonight, then move to the albergue I have booked tomorrow in the same town. All because I HAD to stay on the schedule I'd created for myself. I didn't want to risk losing out on the hotel I have booked in Santiago. But I hadn't even bothered to ask if they could change my reservation, if I arrived early.
Honestly? I'm afraid to finish. I have been preparing for this for over a year now. It's been a huge part of my life. Even the past few weeks, as I've walked, I've imagined and re-imagined my arrival at the cathedral. What it will be like. What it will feel like. But to actually arrive there...
What if it doesn't live up to all my expectations? Or, God forbid, what if it exceeds them?
And most importantly. What comes next? The scariest question of all.
And so, as I learn another lesson along The Way, I have moved up my arrival date in Santiago. No more really short days. No more rest days. No more fear.
On June 25, just one week from tomorrow, I will reach my goal. I will finish this part of my journey. Mark your calendars. You all better be there with me in spirit!