Accountability (re: Thru-Hiking and Blogging)
Sure, I’ve written before. I’ve spent sleepless nights writing until my anxiety-fueled adrenaline turns into mental and physical exhaustion. I have written to de-code all of the feelings. All of them. My pen and notebook became a sort of therapy until I realized that there was no confidentiality agreement between myself and those pages, and began to share my work.
I’ve put my writing out there in the form of essays, poetry, and free writing. As a 19 year old, I stood at Bowery Poetry, in a room full of old blue-collar (and house-less) men, reading poetry. They all said I needed to learn how to own my work and perform it. I once distributed poems on coffee stained paper alongside my ceramic coffee mugs at a school art show- without putting my name on the copies. So I guess those guys were right. Each time I share these thoughts, I am overwhelmed by my decision to over expose…
Which brings us to the next form of writing exposure: blogs. I started a bunch of my own blogs that range in topics from depression and existentialism to the sarcastic humor. The thing about blogs is that they only last as long as I want them to. You see, I constantly felt this nakedness as I read back on each piece of writing until one by one, I would hit ‘delete’.
At this point, you’re probably thinking, ‘Wasn’t she selected to write about hiking?’ And I’m getting there. First, I know myself and I know creating accountability to express my thoughts here, not only because I earned this spot and owe it to the Trek’s readers, but because there are so many parallels between writing and hiking… And I’m ready to share them.
It is primarily in hiking and in writing when I reflect on both on myself and my own life, as well as the world around me. Writing and hiking are two of the only activities where I find I can focus on the task at hand . In writing, it is physical – typing or pressing the instrument onto the page – but it is primarily about getting thoughts out. Hiking, on the other hand, takes mental strength, but is exerted in the form of physical movement. The two together have helped me gain understanding of the strength of my own body and mind.
I have a self-awareness that I have extracted from years of working on my mental and physical health; One that provides me with freedom and reminds me to remain present. So, while I ramble on from this coffee shop in New York City, I recognize that I am as fulfilled as I can be given my current situation. Some day, maybe soon and maybe further down my timeline, I promise you who are reading that something will become of me. As a hiker, I’ll have more to write about than writing itself. And I’ll do my best not to delete it.
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Looking forward to hearing your tales!
I love your writing and openness and honesty. I look forward to following your writing and hiking journey.