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 my therapist until I realized that there was no confidentiality agreement between myself and those pages, and I 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 homeless men, reading poetry. They 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 that was my romantic relationships (if we can even call them that). The thing about blogs is that they only last as long as I want them to. You see, I constantly felt this nakedness because… the internet. I’ve become a creature of habit. I read back on each piece of writing and one by one would hit ‘delete’. Honestly, I’m sure my posts exist somewhere in the blogosphere digital cloud, but I can confidently say that the average internet user won’t find them though a Google search of my name.
At this point, you’re probably thinking, ‘Wasn’t she selected to write about hiking and not writing?’ And I’m getting here. I am creating accountability around myself to express my thoughts here, not only because I earned this spot and owe it to the Appalachian Trials 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.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.
Looking forward to hearing your tales!
I love your writing and openness and honesty. I look forward to following your writing and hiking journey.