I’m going to be blatantly honest with everyone. For the last few weeks, I was strongly considering cancelling my hike. Actually, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be hiking anymore.
Why? Why would you go through the trouble of applying for and becoming a freaking blogger about the AT if you even had an inkling that you might not hike?
I guess the only real answer is I like to keep my options open.
Hear me out, though – I just founded a non-profit. One that seeks to make donating to and involving yourself with causes stupidly easy. As in, like, from your cell phone. I want to bring charity and social good in to the 21st century. Yeah, it sounds like a big undertaking, but you spend a few months hiking up and down mountains and living out of a backpack and try and tell yourself you can’t do anything.
The reason I was really questioning whether or not I’ll be hiking is a certain crowdfunding campaign to fund the development my non-profit’s app. One that will let you donate to any charity instantly with the swipe of a finger (namely, in times of emergency or great need). Yeah, I thought it was pretty cool too – that’s why I decided to make it happen.
Of course, I’m probably the most critical of anyone about the campaign’s success, but it’s failing miserably. I guess people don’t want to give money to fund an app that’s based on giving their money away. Or I’m just not hitting the right market. Or I suck at marketing. Or a combination of all three.
Pity parties aside, my team and I had all but concluded it would be stupid to disappear into the woods for 6 months with a fledgling business under my belt. There are 5k’s and conventions and relentless marketing and promotion that need to take place. Not to mention website upkeep, blogging, bringing up the company’s awesomeness at parties – the list goes on. And, of course, I just met a really pretty girl.
And for awhile, I agreed with them. It is stupid to just leave. It is stupid to not spend every waking second I have on promoting this crowdfunding campaign and talking about charitable giving’s new look. But really, honestly, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of working two customer service jobs with no potential for advancement. I’m tired of fake smiles, “Hi, how are you?”s, and “Sure, no problem!”s. I’m tired of soliciting literally everyone I know via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, text message, and in person and asking for contributions to the campaign. I’m tired of paying rent. I’m tired of worrying about car insurance, student loans, website payments, gas – again, the list goes on.
So, on a hike with a great friend yesterday, while guzzling a bottle of Trader Joe’s two buck chuck Shiraz, I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t see myself maintaining my current lifestyle and remaining sane much longer. At the very least, I would be quitting both my jobs by April 1st. But what I really need, where my heart really is, is the woods. I just want to move, eat, sleep, and read. I don’t want to worry about all this shit anymore. And yes, most of it is shit.
It’s not that I just want to hike. It’s that I have to hike. For sanity, for spirituality, whatever it is – I need to stand on top of a fucking mountain 10 miles in to my 20 mile day, take a deep breath, close my eyes, and not have anything in the god damn world to worry about except moving my legs. That, to me, is freedom. And that’s what it’s all about.
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