Last Day Out of the Woods
So it finally hit me yesterday after I finished packing my backpack (aka my entire life for the next six months) that this is really happening. This shit is real. It really hit me that this is going to be the scariest thing I’ve ever done, not because backpacking is scary, or bears are scary, or going without a phone for days at a time is scary, but because life itself is scary. All of my friends are back in Oklahoma, this place that feels more like home than anywhere else ever has, without me, and sometimes it’s so hard to feel like I made the right choice leaving that behind. After having such a rollercoaster of a year, I managed to figure things out and truly become the happiest I have ever been. And after finally getting things right, I up and left that? For what? Months on end in a tent, subsisting off of ramen noodles and Snickers bars, walking for hours on end day after day through the rain and cold, getting sore muscles and blistered feet, away from anyone I’ve ever known? When I think about it in those extremely negative terms, I start to go insane. Which is exactly what happened yesterday. I couldn’t quit focusing on how much I already miss my friends and how their lives are going on without me, and that is a hard mindset to break from. And I totally freaked out. Two days before getting out onto the trail, and I have never wanted to abort mission more.
When I mention what I’m doing, people have repeatedly said to me “You are so brave.” Which I am. But their version of brave refers to solo hiking and taking on the physical aspects of the trail. My version of brave means that I willingly left everything that was comfortable to me and that I loved so much in my life in Oklahoma to go six months without seeing any of my friends, who are such a huge part of my life and the most amazing support system in the world and whom I really don’t know how to live without. Mid-meltdown yesterday, I was able to get some incredibly helpful words of encouragement from one of my wisest and dearest friends, without which I may have been en route back to Norman as we speak (thanks, Connor).
I can only hope that when these moments occur on the trail that I will be able to remember why I attempted this crazy journey in the first place. I won’t have my friends on call like I’m used to, but I will have my “why I’m hiking” list (yes, Zach, I made one as soon as you recommended it), so hopefully that’ll be enough to tide me over until I can go crying to my friends once I have cell reception. Long story short, I am absolutely terrified of the mental aspect of this trip, and I’m sure there will be plenty of moments where I am reminded of and challenged by that, but today I feel revitalized and ready to TAKE ON THIS TRAIL.
Everyone’s support up to this point has meant the absolute world to me, and it will mean even more to me once I get out there TOMORROW. All of you, especially all of you already rocking it out on the trail, are majestic, beautiful sunfishes, and I admire you down to your core. Now let’s go to Georgia!
Pictures from https://goo.gl/QsfpZE & https://galleryhip.com/a-ha-take-on-me-album.html
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You’re going to have the time of of your life. Promise.
Good job with the lists. You’re ready.