Who Have I Become?
Who Have I Become?
A Concluding Synopsis Post Appalachian Trail
That’s a great question. The answer is colorful and convoluted and anyone that has accomplished the great task of a thru-hike knows this to be true. Finding the words to describe such a journey is different for everyone.
I quickly noted all of the feelings and results that stemmed in my head over the course of the last couple of weeks since I’ve been home. Here’s a rough list of them all:
- Gentle care
- Low stress
- The idea that nothing matters, really.
- Silenced intruding thoughts
- Setting healthy boundaries with others
- True friendship
- Quiet traumas from the past
- Sacred vision
- LOVE FOR LIVING
- Unaltered self-expression
- Acknowledging my true beauty
- MINIMAL HORMONAL ACNE
- Enlightenment (No, not like the intellectual movement from the 17th-18th century)
- Power (in a healthy sense, so unlike being a conqueror)
- Manifestation working in the background
- A constant sense of peace
Prior to the AT, I had the typical struggles of a twenty-something-year-old woman in America. I had a lack of confidence, self-love, self-respect, etc. I was receiving acupuncture once a week while also seeing an alternative psychologist to try to solve an array of issues I was experiencing. One of the first things the acupuncturist discovered about me was my high levels of stress. I remember him saying; “Anna, you are abnormally stressed for your age.” This, of course, worried me EVEN more as I googled the side effects of long-term stress on the body. I was finishing a bachelor’s degree that I didn’t care about, juggling my self-worth, and working jobs that I hated.
As I worked through these issues, I found myself driving from my college town to my parent’s house as often as I could. In a pinch, I googled “self-help books for people who need self-love” to listen to on my commute home. I scrolled through the options that popped up, but I knew I was too busy to actually read a book. I noticed the audio-book version of You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. I highly recommend reading this book even if you feel like you have it all figured out because Sincero WILL make you think about how the world works differently than before. The moral of the story, I discovered that everything works in my favor if I just simply want it, and the universe, God, Buddha, Shiva, or WHOEVER will work to boost whatever I am manifesting.
I struggled with acne for about 10 years. From middle school on into my early twenties, nothing worked to solve the massacre on my face. As I learned to de-stress, discover a sense of worth and love, and appreciate life, the acne began to fade. By the time I was two weeks in on the AT my acne had completely cleared. As I saw my friend Connor for the first time since I started my hike, he mentioned how clear my skin was. The Appalachian Trail healed my hormones. I can’t explain it, it just did. But my analysis is that the AT helped to solve the internal struggles that I had just begun to work on, and as those were solved my skin followed.
The list above is all of the things that changed while I was on trail. Many of those things were what I struggled with prior to my thru-hike. So, if you’re reading this and are debating on thru-hiking some trail. Do it. You will never be the same and you will see miracles work in your favor.
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