How to Feel Uncomfortable - This American Girl

Panama City Skyline


After nineteen hours, three exhausting bus rides, one border crossing, and a meal of plantain chips, yogurt, and cornmeal pudding, I have finally arrived in Panama City.


As I write this I am sitting in the lobby of a hostel, where I have been waiting, for the last two hours.

I made no reservation. 


A few minutes ago, I discovered that the boat I planned to take directly to Cartagena


does not exist.


And yesterday was a first in nearly two months where my body did not move to the flow of yoga.

I feel out of balance.




I am fighting my urge to run back to my sources of comfort.


Back to Puerto Viejo where I have friends, a house, a routine.


Back to my mom who is baking at least three different treats as we speak, a full stick of butter nearby. Her comfy couch and an episode of Revenge waiting for me.


Back to biting my nails, a habit I owned since childhood that I finally let go of nine months ago

My thumbnail is being sacrificed as we speak.


But I know myself.


Panama City Boats


So I know

that when circumstances are unknown

when life becomes uncomfortable

I cling

to what is familiar.


Perhaps we all do.


Panama City Apartments


When your




is not what you hoped it would be

do you start



your escape home?


Do you

think about



your former love?


Do you


for memories

of times

when you felt content

and try


to recreate them?


Panama City Abandoned Building


Can you let go of what was

open your eyes to what is

and allow for what is yet to be?


How much time have you spent

have I spent


some way


with someone

that did not make you happy

simply because

you were too afraid

to endure

the discomfort

of change?


Casco Viejo  in Panama City


Traveling forces me to breathe through my discomfort

allow myself to adapt

and let go

of what is behind me

so that I might instead

look around


and trust

in the


life changing




No matter how uncomfortable or scary it may feel

right now.


Casco Viejo Restaurant


I know that I can

and you can

absolutely do this.


Whatever this may be.

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