I’m Ready! And So, So, So Not Ready

I need to pick up boxes for resupply.

I should make my eggs before I move.

I can’t make the eggs; I packed my pots and pans already.

Who’s gonna take care of my plants?

I need to cancel the internet before I get billed for another month.

I wonder what my trail name will be.

I hope I don’t get a duo trail name because I’m hiking with someone, like Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Would I be Rocky or Bullwinkle?

Did I make a dentist appointment for before I leave?

I need to change my address.

I still have to do a bulk food buy at Costco.

I’m gonna eat so many Pop-Tarts.

Gotta do my taxes.

Where are my boots?

I saw a meme that read, “My brain is like an internet browser: 20 tabs open and I don’t know where the music is coming from.”

Accurate.

At any given time, my brain has a hurricane swirling around in there with apartment packing up to-dos, trail prep needs, lists, excitement, anxiety, more lists, and so on.

Anyone who knows me knows that my kitchen doesn’t look like this. Ever. My apartment is always neat and clean. I make my bed every morning. I’m that annoying person that says, “sorry for the mess,” when I have you over even though all you see is a stray pen or notebook. Everything has a place. I misplaced a pair of scissors last year and I still talk about this traumatic event; I’m pretty sure ghosts were messing with me because I’d never misplace scissors.

I think having my apartment be a total mess right now is actually good for me. Too many years of obsessively needing things a certain way is draining. I feel like I’m yearning for the freedom of the trail. With every carload of stuff that I clear out of my apartment, I feel a little bit of a thrill.

Contrary to what the above photo might suggest, I’m trying to stay organized while packing up my apartment. The last thing I want is to come home and think, wheredid I put all my underwear?It’s a slow process. Lots of labeling.

Storing stuff and leaving my apartment for good is making things a bit chaotic. Packing and moving is a process. Planning for the AT is a process. Doing both at the same time… yeah. But I’m also glad for it. I feel like it’s keeping me distracted from over-focusing on the trail. So much of my energy is put toward trying to pack that I don’t have enough time to sit and freak out about much else.

At first I thought that it must be easier for the people that aren’t moving out. It’s certainly less work. But I’m kind of ready for the change. I’ve read that post-trail depression is very much real and I would imagine that finishing the trail and going home to your apartment, job, and everything else, being exactly the same, when you’re so changed, could make the transition harder instead of easier. But who knows? Perhaps having your familiar, warm home to return to would be a source of comfort.

I’ve officially gone into rambling mode but I’m not going to edit because these random, contrasting, disorganized thoughts are my brain right now, and I’m guessing fellow hikers can relate.

But my thoughts all eventually shift back to the trail. Just imagining myself sitting on a rock, at a nice viewpoint, contemplating whatever I feel like.

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Comments 5

  • Avatar
    Regan F : Feb 15th

    I have the same ghost…still looking for a pair of scissors I misplaced last month. Good luck with the packing!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Dominic P. : Feb 15th

    You bring up an interesting perspective. I know the feeling of coming home after a day of work to a mess and a list of things I never got around to doing.

    I can’t imagine after months of hiking and exploring, what kind of impact returning home to that list would have on a person psychologically.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Chris Cannon : Feb 15th

    This is so well written, Kristen. Every line says something truly pertinent. I love excellent communication. Your Mom is an excellent writer too. I know I will so vicariously enjoy this hike with you. Thanks for including us all.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    LeoYermo : Feb 15th

    Pick a trail name before you leave, that you like. If somebody comes up with at better one FOR YOU that you like, snag that.
    Just a couple of rambles in that subject.
    And yes losing/ misplacing stuff?
    • A traumatic experience.
    I really enjoyed your posting.
    Thanks so very much.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    FishnGaMe : Feb 16th

    I also had a major list for the pre-thruhike agenda with having a business, mortgage, dog to stay with loved ones, and being 45 with all that baggage. Yet, it worked out fine. Even after summiting Kathadin and looking forward to home, I first went back to the Whites to traverse around for a week and give Thanks to the Mountains That Be for giving me a fantastic safe and wonderous journey. Then I went home to hike with my dog, see loved ones, eat great food, and watch movies for a week. Good Luck!

    Reply

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