A simple ‘thank you’ before I begin
Three days of work remain between now and when I will shut off my computer, grab a small box of my belongings, say goodbye to my coworkers and walk out of my office for the last time. The thought is exhilarating, and also sad. This week has been a whirlwind of wrapping up projects and ensuring a transition plan is in place—two stressful things I am ready to be done with—but it has also been full of quiet moments of reflection and appreciation.
I am leaving a job I love to pursue, well, something I love more.
Am I being a bit sentimental? You bet. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t shedding a tear or two as I type these words. But I believe my tears come from something even deeper: a feeling of extreme gratitude for those who are supporting me and my journey. I’m not even on the Trail yet, but I already feel surrounded by love, kindness, and so much encouragement.
I have a habit of going to the gym in the mornings before work, and a couple of weeks ago as I was getting ready for the day after my workout, a woman came up to me and said, “You are living my dream. You’re going to do great.” I feel terrible because I cannot remember her name, and I’m not even sure how she knew I was leaving to hike the A.T. I suppose she overheard a conversation at one point. But those short, simple sentences reminded me of my ultimate goal as a prospective thru-hiker: I am doing this for myself, sure, but also because I want to inspire others to pursue their dreams, whatever they might be.
Because life is too short to not be all-in.
So to everyone who has shown me support, and to everyone who will show me support: Your words mean more to me than I can express, and they are what will carry me through this hike. Thank you.
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