What it Felt Like to Buy My Plane Ticket


It was Saturday night, after a busy (read: draining) week of substitute teaching and a busy weekend of coaching swimming. Since spring is far from Alaska’s mind there was a snow storm. My pipes had frozen and I was unable to use the water. I stopped at the gas station on my way home to use their bathroom and buy some water. I figured I should hit up the Redbox while I was there since I was exhausted and snowed in. I caught a glimpse of myself in the gas station bathroom, my face was pale and the bags under my eyes were a deep navy. I splashed some water on my face and moved forward with my evening.  Eyes on the prize. Work. Work. Work. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.

I got home with my giant jug of water, a movie, and some chocolate. I had been sick and was bordering on miserable. I try not to complain and always keep a positive attitude. But substitute teaching is a rough gig, I was sick and was having to pee in my backyard in a snowstorm (I have neighbors).  Even Pollyanna would succumb to these circumstances.

I put on the movie and made myself a promise, by the time the movie ended I would BUY MY TICKET TO ATLANTA. I have been driving myself crazy trying to pick a start date. I’m usually pretty good at keeping promises to myself and had this idea that my cold might be stress induced and finally nailing down the start date would make it disappear.

I toiled over the decision. I perused various websites, prices, dates, I cross referenced the ATC registry to see how many people had registered for each option. Did I want to start on a day with 5 other people? What if I didn’t like any of them? Did I want to start it with20 other people? Isn’t this suppose to be a soul-finding mission, will it be too crowded? Should I land at night or in the afternoon? Blah. Blah. Blah.

And then I realized. This is a GREAT ( Don’t Think Twice, check it out) movie and I would really like to be watching it instead of going around in circles and driving myself mad. So I took a breath, I held it and I hit confirm. And just like that, it was official. Official. March 26th I am leaving Alaska, March 28th I am taking my first steps towards Maine. March 28th I am making a dream come true. March 28th I am embarking on a solo journey that has the potential to change my perspective and introduce me to a better, different version of myself and the world. March 28th it begins.

And how did it feel after I pushed the button? Did I feel panic? Second thoughts? Did I go back through the registry and try to find a better match? NOPE.

I slammed the computer shut, felt the weight of an elephant step off my chest and felt a bubble of joy burst inside of me. Suddenly the tiring work, the frozen pipes and sickness weren’t a big deal. The only thing that was a big deal was I was seriously hiking the mother effing AT. It was real. It is happening. I have a date, I have a place to stay and a way to the trail head. I am going.

I paused the movie, turned the radio on and danced with elation around my house by myself. I danced on the furniture. I danced in circles with my arms over my head. I danced with pure joy, I was bursting at the seams.

When the elation left, what stood was a sense of peace and rightness. If this is any indication about the decision I am making I know I am making a good one. Becuase the type of life I want is the type of life that causes me to dance around my house, by myself without a care in the world. The type of life I want is one where joy pours out of you, instead of an ordinary night I had an extraordinary night.

I am not letting this elated burst fool me, I know it’s going to be hard. I know it is going to push me in all ways. But I also know one more thing, I know I am going.

March 28th.

Oh my god.


And since no blog post is complete without shameless self-promotion, you can donate to my fundraising page here and you can follow along on my Instagram here. Until next time! -Leah

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Comments 2

  • Deven : Mar 27th

    YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY What a great post. That’s tomorrow! You’ve left! Its happening! Dancing in the living room! Yay!

    • Leah : Mar 27th



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