It is a good question. When is leaving just that, leaving? The physical act of removing oneself from their current environment and going elsewhere. There is so much more to it than that. Least for me there is. I sat and pondered it. Is my reluctance, okay that is far too light a description, tied to something greater. Something at the very opposite end of the spectrum. Is it connected to my deep desire to run away. My wish to be completely free of this place and this life. I have to be pretty upfront about that. I do in many ways wish for something different. Yet, part of me knows my responsibilities and my choices that have led me here. My deep and complete love for my partner who seems to want nothing else in life but this place and the life we live here. I know this is my place, my space in life. I have walked this road, or as my mom might say “I made this bed”. So yes I do feel a responsibility and it keeps me firmly rooted here even when every cell in my being tells me to run away. There was a time when it was easy to run. A time when impulses very much controlled my life. Do I sometimes long for that? I do indeed. But there is a dark flip side to leading that life. Impulses do cut both ways and cause so much mayhem. You don’t get one without the other. As much as I’d like to take just a snippet, it doesn’t work that way. There may well be a connection, as Beatrice suggested. Do I fear the act of leaving? Not because it means walking away and leaving the horses unattended, but because I don’t trust myself to not just keep on going and not look back? Is my will to flee so great that it creates this shut down agoraphobic me? So terrified of leaving, my life has become a never-ending pattern of sameness. Never really straying far and if I do it evokes so much anxiety I am physically sick over it? When did the adventurous wild woman I was die off, leaving who I look at in the mirror today? I was always up for anything, anywhere, anytime. Planes, trains, automobiles…didn’t matter. Now even the thought of it makes my heart rap hard in my chest. I hate what I have become. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life locked behind these gates. But the question is what makes me feel this way? When did it all change? Where did the fear come from and why does it never leave? The question that Beatrice raised was a good one. I don’t know the answer, nor do I know if those two poles have anything in common. It would make sense that they might. I think it is a good place to start, and a critical place to work on. As my life has grown smaller and more restricted I find myself less confident and secure. That anxiety causes ripples in this pond and it has a way of buffeting other aspects of my life. If we can find a way to quiet the anxiety and let me explore life a bit more I may well find contentment again. It may create enough new happy space in my life that I can find moments of distraction from the immensity of our undertaking here. It is what I really need more than anything. I need time away from here to be free from the crushing anxiety and responsibility that is living behind this gate.