Who Am I? Let’s Find Out!

Mother. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Spouse. These are all titles I bear, but does that really say who I am?  No. It merely defines me in a relation to another person. It says nothing about the quality of my own person.

Yet so many live their lives by the dictates and demands of these titles.

For more than two decades, I wore the title of Military Spouse all over the world. This is America, where we hold our soldiers high.  And when they retire, we give them a new title. We call them Veterans, but the title “veteran spouse” isn’t really a thing. Why is that? What are we? Wait, there’s someone else I can be now?

This realization was a far bigger dunk in cold water than I ever thought it would be.

Count me among the many people who turn to the AT to transition from one phase of life to another. We take a moment to evaluate the person who wore all those titles and more, and figure out which rings true, if any, or if there’s someone completely different underneath.

Underneath all those relationships, the quality of my person is a jewel-toned kaleidoscope of diversity. I am a musician and performer. I’m a passionate cook. I’m an artist. I’m a total nerd. I’m a loud and energetic chatterbox. And I am a HIKER. None of these titles require another person, they are simply me at the core.

So what is a hiker to me?

To me, being a hiker is about more than just taking a walk in the woods. It’s about being present in the woods, and observing not only what mother nature has to offer, but what you are offering in return. It’s about looking at a trail as a teacher and being willing to be the student. It’s about learning about yourself while you experience this walk in the woods. Of course, you can tackle a trail while ignoring everything around you, focusing on what’s left on your Christmas shopping list or whether your should text your ex since it’s the holidays (probably a “NO” on that one). To me, that’s the equivalent of sitting in class and doodling in your notebook while ignoring the teacher. Your subconscious will certainly glean something from the lesson, but it could be so much more if you let it.

Beneath all the titles I have held over the years, HIKER has always been there. This time next year, I’ll be able to add THRU-HIKER to that list, and who knows what else!

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Comments 6

  • Marty : Dec 7th

    Proud mom

  • pearwood : Dec 7th

    Hello, Dandelion!
    Good for you. Maybe you’ll see this old Army UH-1H jockey on the trail. I’m starting NOBO February 1. I’m not going to be setting any speed records. I figure the bubble will catch up with me and leave me behind.
    Steve / pearwood

    • Trishadee Newlin : Dec 8th

      Hi Pearwood!
      I, too, am not built for speed. Im sure I’ll see you out there!


  • Cat Kassay : Dec 8th

    I love it! As a veteran and “veteran spouse”, I have yet to figure out who I am without someone else. Your words have inspired me to figure out exactly who I am. How I am going to do that will be a journey that I have yet to figure out (seriously, I have no idea). Love you!

  • Chris : Dec 8th

    Thank you for your service. You had the hardest job in the military – military wife..ask my wife. Sounds like there is some more competition for SKT…Slowest Known Time. See ya on the trail.

    • Trishadee Newlin : Dec 9th

      Hi Chris!
      Thank you. I by no means think that spouses deserve special treatment, or to be raised over our soldiers. But I absolutely believe that there is a need to shed some lights on us and hear our stories, too.
      See ya out there!


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