Expecting Life to Never Be the Same

Sunlight slips through the window, which is no larger than a couple square feet and rests within a painted cinder block wall; the same type of wall one would find in grade school. The floor is similar; no carpet or hardwood floors, only smooth and painted concrete. Light from a new day shines through the window and illuminates my little room. I’m awakened each morning by the sound of my phone alarm. I routinely grab my phone to turn off the alarm, then check my bookmarks for a countdown timer. It shows only less than two weeks remaining.

This room was fully furnished only weeks ago, but is almost empty now. A few boxes of all my essential items and a mattress still remain. All my backpacking gear lies in one corner of the room. I’ve laid everything out to analyze the contents more times than I can count. I’m pretty sure I’m ready for this adventure. In several days, I’ll put the remaining few items in my storage unit and carry everything in that corner on my back for the next several months.

I’ve been waiting to hike the Appalachian Trail for over two years, and I’m not sure it’s really hit me that it’s actually happening. You see, for a while I never saw myself as the type to actually get off my ass and go for it. I became comfortable with finishing university, starting a career, getting married, and buying a house; you know, the standard American Dream. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve always dreamed of cycling across the country, moving overseas, mountain biking along the Continental Divide, backpacking around Alaska, and so on. I’m not completely boring; I was merely stuck, or so I thought.

I married while in college and a couple years after graduation I was divorced, sold the house, took back an old job to escape my hometown, and moved into a small room with a window not proportional to the rest. It was cheap, ridiculously cheap. The reason being is because it used to be an old laboratory that is now outfitted with all the amenities one could need to live, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at it from the outside. You know the old saying “you get what you pay for”; the place I lived in for over two years couldn’t be a better example.

“… you have the opportunity to take the struggles from your past and turn it into a fuel for strength and courage during your next chapter.”

The circumstances I was placed in took a toll on me for a couple years, but despite the issues I was facing I was able to become debt-free with cash in the bank. I will always be thankful for the opportunity I had to save the majority of my paycheck and work plenty of overtime. When you make it through a low point in your life, you have the opportunity to take the struggles from your past and turn them into a fuel for strength and courage during your next chapter. The next chapter can look like anything for you, but for me it is this hike, and I expect life to never be the same after it. In fact, I’m counting on it.

I hope that my writing will resonate with at least one person and inspire them. Possibly get them out of their comfort zone to chase a dream or make the changes they want in life. Everyone deserves to feel happy and fulfilled. I also want to give my opinions and advice on gear, hiking, and adventure in general. I believe we all bring something to the table that others can use. My goal is that the reader takes something away from each post that can benefit them. I will update as much as I can along the trail, and if you would like to read more or see all the photos I take then I encourage you to follow my personal website and Instagram. The link is in my author bio.

Well, that’s enough about me for this introduction. My name is Thomas, no trail name yet.

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Comments 4

  • Brenda : Feb 23rd

    Good luck. Living you dream.

    • Thomas Diggs : Feb 24th

      Hi, thank you for reading and for the luck!

  • Jami Reddish : Mar 11th

    Good luck with your hike!! Hopefully it’ll be a time of inner reflection & help you become the best version of your true self!
    Happy Trails!

  • Deidre : Mar 12th

    Good hiking! Looking forward to reading about your journey. You have most likely already passed my neck of the woods where the AT squiggles through. ☮️


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