I was talking to one of my friends at the weekend and we got onto the subject of the Camino. It’s never far from my mind and it’s something she would like to do too. She said that she noticed that I’ve changed since I did that and I asked her how. She said that I seemed more confident than I was and I think she might be right.
I started trying to deny it but realised that actually I am a little more confident in my choices. I don’t bounce into places like I’m the best person in the universe but I don’t worry as much about what I do. Well most of the time anyway.
I think it’s because I didn’t expect to finish the Camino when I started. It was so unimaginable that I could walk 800km and I was used to having big ideas but not necessarily finishing what I started. Before I went I was so worried about all the things that might go wrong that I couldn’t even fathom actually enjoying myself.
And to be honest, the first few days were tough. My feet really hurt and it was hilly which is never my favourite terrain. I had to have an impromptu day off on the fourth day but kept going afterwards. I had a really enjoyable day off too. I met some great people and one person who turned out to be a real friend. Being able to sit and relax with new people was something new for me too. We were all in the same boat but very different people from all over the world. We laughed a lot and it made me much happier about what I was doing.
I met more people after this and walked for more days and much further than I ever thought was possible for me. I’m really proud of myself and when I came home, I realised that I was capable of so much more than I give myself credit for. I can stand up in front of strangers and talk. I can walk long distances. Pretty slowly, but I can do it. I can talk to new people and forge relationships with them. Sometimes, I just need to remind myself of this.
We’re all far more capable than we usually give ourselves credit and, in my opinion, women are capable of incredible feats. Not just in difficult circumstances, but in everyday life. We’ve spent a long time being told not to be or do certain things but things are now changing. We just need to change our mindsets to discover what we can actually do. Be brave, try new things and have courage that it won’t be completely awful, even if it doesn’t go to plan.