Hello There, Old Friend
First Things First
Let me begin this article by apologizing for my lack of posts over the course of the summer and beginning of fall. As I have said to my many relatives commenting on the lack of updates, having the service/wifi to make a post and having the time to make a post are two things that rarely coincided on my hike. That being said, I have returned home after completing 600 miles on the trail (more on that later) and now have all the wifi and time I could ask for!
Where To Begin….
I guess the natural place to start would be explain why I got off the trail 1400 miles short of my goal. I am not going to go into great detail; for it was a personal decision. That being said, there isn’t just one reason I got off the trail – there are a few: because I was running low on funds, because I had some family things to take care of, and because I had been exhausted (mentally, physically and emotionally) for about two weeks, and felt that my reasons for being on the trail had changed. The latter is a reason I will go in to here.
Over the past three years of planning, my hike has taken on different meanings to me. It began simply as an adventurous dream of a teenage girl, then it became a challenge for me to overcome. Soon it became something a little more spiteful as the support for the hike was disappointingly low, next it turned into a way for me to mature and spread my wings. Finally, about three weeks before I got off, I realized that what I REALLY wanted from my hike was a chance to meet different people, learn about their lives and thoughts and dreams. A week after this realization, I pretty much stopped seeing people. You can see how this would be contradictory to my new purpose, right? I did see two or three south-bounders but those were in passing and I don’t really count them. In short, I am too damn extroverted for that kind of situation! After realizing that, I decided it was time for me to leave. I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of the trail, and honestly, I was depressed. I will probably go a little further into my thoughts and actions my last week later on, but I warn you, they aren’t pretty.
Despite my leaving the trail however, I do not regret my decision in any way. I hear that most people, when they leave, instantly feel some type of regret. I did not have that at all. My secret? I know I am not done with the trail and she is not done with me. I fully plan on coming back next spring and getting to Maine. Also, all the previous meanings I had applied to my hike had been completed in some way shape or form. I do not regret any of the decisions I made on the trail or any of the choices I have made since coming back.
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