The Stress of Anticipation: 17 Days To Go

It’s Crunch Time Baby!

Checking In:

Okay, if I have to be completely honest with myself I have to realize I am low key freaking out. I have been counting down the days since around mid January and now I am 17 days away. Seventeen days? Seems like a long time, but the reality is that I’ve been waiting my whole life and 17 days is just a blink of the eye.

I am finding myself questioning a lot of the decisions I have made thus far. It feels like everyday a new thought arrises and I am left wondering again, is this the right choice?

Did I make the right gear choices?

Should I replace my backpack?

Do I really need micro spikes this year?

Are my packages going to be there when I arrive?

Am I able to rent a car?

Will my cats hate me when I come back?

Toilet paper or wet wipes?

Do I have enough money saved?

Am I crazy?

Is my base weight too much?

Can I really do this?

As all of these thoughts flutter in and out of my mind and I have to constantly remind myself:

“You’ve got this.”

The anticipation has been equivalent to watching crystalized honey drip slowly from the jar. It’s like everyday time stands still and when it’s released I fast forward and suddenly I am playing catch-up with myself. I am constantly feeling like I am in limbo. I’m waiting for time to go by yet it’s burning away at every moment I blink my eyes. It’s really hard to wait so long for something so extreme. The strangest part about waiting is that when I do finally set foot on the trail every day ahead will be the anticipation of a new journey for myself.

Everything will be new and unknown then.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been hunkering down and taking care of business. I’m making last minute changes to my equipment. I have been packing, selling and finding new homes for things I no longer need in my life. I’ve planned out my first week on trail and found places to send my resupply boxes. I have been eating every last bit of food left in my house hoping to gain a few pounds before hiking. I’m trying to coordinate plans to see friends and loved ones before I go. Meanwhile, I am ferociously worried about my cats. I’m struggling to get a credit card so I can rent a car, thanks to being partially employed. I’m working on forwarding my mail and changing my address. I also repackaged all of my food to save weight and space. With all of this going on I have barely had time to get outside and hike.

I have just been down right busy. 

Planning a thru-hike is hard. It’s not just packing a bag and walking, though some can do that. I think one of the hardest parts is making sure everything at home is squared away. Making sure my things have place to go and that my cat’s have the right homes to stay in while I am gone. Once I actually move out of my apartment things will begin to feel really real.

I am ready for that.

Waiting patiently for each day to end I recognize this anxious feeling inside me. This feeling that has been growing and changing for months now. Some days it presents itself as excitement. Other days it presents itself as fear. Sometimes it is both. With just over two weeks until I embark on my journey I’m finally starting to feel truly ready. I’ll keep battling the negative thoughts in mind and keep pushing forward.

Even though I feel extremely stressed out everyday I know that it’s all coming together and in 17 days I will be setting off on a journey of a lifetime.


Curious about what I am bringing?

As I finalize my equipment keep your eyes peeled for my 2021 Appalachian Trail Gear List.

In the meantime don’t forget to subscribe to my adventure here  & follow me for more hiking shenanigans on instagram @artistsrukus!










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Comments 2

  • pearwood : Feb 22nd

    Go for it, Jocelot!
    Looks like I’m already following you on Instagram.
    Blessings on you way,
    Steve / pearwood / PearwoodPhoto

  • Dad : Feb 23rd

    You got this, gurl!!
    You’ve got a support team around you that you can hand off the responsibilities to… you’ve planned and prepared… you’ve got your things taken care of…. Now get out there and hike!!


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