They say you know you’re on to something great when you’re
I sure hope there’s truth in that.
I have dreamt of a journey like this for years, long before “Wild” came out.
In fact, when I read that book I thought, “Damn. She beat me to it.”
I have always known I would do a through-hike and (hopefully) write an epic story about it, and I cannot believe it is soon upon me. I feel simultaneously prepared and absolutely overwhelmed. There’s so much to be done in such a short period of time!
My heart is so filled with gratitude it is breaking apart.
So much is changing in my life right now, doors closing and others opening. I have finally began to feel more at home than I ever have, only to be leaving. I think that’s how life goes… just when you start to get comfortable and content with the way things are, they change.
Nature’s cruel like that.
As excited as I am about the journey I am about to embark on, I am equally as terrified.
But I am not afraid of what might be expected.
I am not afraid of being in the wild alone. I am not afraid of encounters with bears or cougars or snakes. I am not afraid of summiting the highest mountain in the Continental US. I am not afraid of being in solitude for a month. I am not afraid of physically pushing my limits harder than I ever have. I am not afraid to call a tent my home and to carry all I need to survive on my back. I am not afraid to go long periods of time without hearing another human voice, of hearing my own voice.
In fact, all of that is what I look forward to most!
What I fear is this…
I fear I will find myself so much at home on this trail that I won’t know how to leave it. I fear that following this path of definitive direction will only make me feel lost once again after I divert from it. I fear I will find more comfort and safety and connectedness with all I value that coming back to society might be unbearable. I am afraid to scale down the mountains backwards, blindly, unsure of my footing.
When I consume the words of Muir and Thoreau and Adams, I feel a connection bone deep. Their words beckon my soul to their wilderness. They call me to wander aimlessly in their sanctuaries and experience the universal lessons they speak of for myself.
They have inspired me to live simply and simply live,
as I hope to do for you.
The mountains have called, and I have responded to their call with courage and madness and blind faith. I am so excited for the experiences I will have, the people I will meet, the tears I will shed, the laughs I will share, the blisters, the monotonous trail food, the routine, the dramatic and changing landscape. I am excited to dive deep into myself and come to learn more than I can now imagine.
I am excited, and yes, I am a little afraid.
But where we would get if we never did anything that made us feel
a little uncomfortable?