Life Transitions & Uncertainty

I’m about to spend 5 months walking through unfamiliar places, living in a way that I am unfamiliar with. I’m taking time off from my scheduled life, even though I am uncertain of how things will be…I start my thru-hike in less than a week.

Currently, I’m at the end of a life-chapter, and I’m having to remind myself that patience is important. Even though I have spent many hours researching what I need to know, and money on all the “right” gear, I know that I am not fully prepared for my thru-hike. And that’s hard to accept, because I feel like I should actively try my best to be prepared. The thing is, deep down, I know that I will never be fully prepared, because I am taking a step outside of what’s familiar.

Although this isn’t my first transition in life, I’m still feeling discomfort and uncertainty. I am letting go of the security of living in a house. I am letting go of modern luxuries like refrigerators and washing machines. I am letting go of all the stuff that clutters my room, and I am letting go of a schedule that makes me feel safe. Even though I’m not too fond of those things, I am feeling anxious just giving them up.

There, I admit it. I’m feeling anxious.

What if I bring too much/too little? What if gear breaks? What if there are unexpected costs? What if I run out of money? What if I eat too little/get sick? What if I’m trapped on top of a mountain in a thunder storm? What if I take a bad fall? What if I encounter a Copperhead?

“The experienced mountain climber is not intimidated by the mountain, he is inspired by it.” — William Arthur Ward

That’s the quote I keep going back to. It’s one of the main reasons why I’m thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail–I want to reach Mt. Katahdin feeling inspired by life’s mountains. I want to breathe deeply, dismiss voices of defeat, and approach challenges with confidence.

This is something I have to work on, but I know that I’ll get there. And by accepting that I’ll never be fully prepared, I’m already one step closer.

Photo courtesy of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

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