Packing Up, Second Thoughts

The walls are bare. There are boxes stacked high against empty bookshelves. I have my small storage unit secured. Everything feels weird.

empty shelf

It has been a very productive weekend, and exciting in a number of ways. My mom flew down to help kickstart the process, which was critical, since there was next to no chance I was going to. I lose track of exactly how many weeks it is – 5 now. Except I move out of my apartment in just 3 weeks. 3! I simply did not have the motivation to get going on this. I had a rough week last week, so AT prep was not high on my priority list. But Mom came to the rescue, and Saturday we began hunting for a storage unit. Since we had a car, it made sense to get this taken care of (and of course, there was that constant buzzing reminder of 3 weeks to get everything wrapped and boxed and moved). So now I have a space with a lock on it.

Another thing we could do by car was, you know, swing by REI. Because…well, because REI. Right? Actually I did have a legit reason to go: the socks I want have been sold out online for weeks. We went in, knowing we had every chance of being distracted, but on a mission. I found the socks – lots of them! – and gleefully collected 8 pairs in my arms. Then we found ourselves in the jacket section. I’ve been debating and thinking of one of my few remaining gear items – down jacket. I tried several on to test them out, asked employees questions (who, even though they work in REI, said things like, “Wait, you’re going all the way to Maine? The whole thing? You’re going all the way to Maine?” – I…yes?). I settled on a puffy purple Arc’teryx with a sewn-in pocket stuffsack, and Mom and Dad picked up the bill (THANK YOU)! I am so excited.


There was more to be done, however, and the day was waning. We headed to Home Depot to pick up the boxes I’d ordered, and finally began the packing process. We were busy bees! Most of my kitchen and living rooms are packed up, I separated clothes into “things I won’t need for the next 7+ months” and “things I’ll wear on and off Trail for the next 7 months” and packed what I wouldn’t need. My closet is virtually empty. There are very few books visible in my apartment at all, and no knickknacks. The AT map on my door is one of three remaining items hanging up. I gave bags of clothes away, and have a pile of other things to get rid of. It’s happening! And it’s coming along fantastically.

I did have moments of second-thoughts. They were scary, because they had never really impacted me this way before. The bad thing that happened last week was a breakup from a really fantastic person. We haven’t spoken since (which is killing me), and so Sunday morning another wave hit me. As I looked around my bare apartment, it finally got I’m-moving-out-soon real. In light of the breakup and not talking, everything felt backwards, everything felt wrong. It was wrong to not talk to my ex, who had been a good friend, and so it was wrong for me to take this trip right now. My head isn’t always at the top of its game. My mom reassured me that it was normal – healthy – to have second thoughts. This is a big undertaking, and that fact usually sends a thrill up my spine, but other times it punches me in the gut. Like, in times of sadness. I got over it – I think – and am back in the game for hiking the Appalachian Trail in one go. I still think it’s something I need to do. And if I do it, and at least some of the things I hope for myself happen, then I’ll be a woman with more confidence and a story to tell. I will have done this thing and learned so much in the process. And I believe I will be a better version of myself. And right now, there is packing to be done.


As we settled in for the evening of her last night, my mom had another surprise for me…but I’ll let her tell you about it in her own words 😉

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