The Power of Being Yourself
This morning we hiked a few miles to get to Casa de Luna – Terrie and Joe Anderson’s place in Green Valley, CA, which is a lengendary stop for PCT hikers. I’ve pitched my tent out back in the magical manzanita forest, which more than lives up to the hype. It’s epic.
There’s something that I’ve been thinking about often lately, that’s deeply personal and has been central to my success thus far – both in getting myself to the trail and hiking almost 500 miles. While it is scary to be vulnerable and put this out into the world, I think this is important for me to talk about and for others to read.
I doubt that I would be here today, having an incredible experience on the PCT, if I wasn’t gay. Going through so much self discovery and introspection over the years has been beneficial in so many ways.
Throughout my life I’ve always done my own thing – including rocking my own distinctive style growing up (see below). Since coming out I have felt more free to pursue my goals, whatever they may be. I can go after what I want to do without as much pressure to conform to societal norms – which is truly a gift.
All of this made my decision to commit to hiking the PCT easier – not easy, but easier. It was still a seriously nerve wracking decision to take on something so huge; certainly the biggest undertaking of my life so far.
Deciding to fully be myself has gotten the ball rolling in several areas of my life. From coming out to cutting my hair (so happy I did), deciding to change my field of study for grad school, to hiking the PCT, this process has been overwhelmingly positive. Along the way I’ve had a fantastic group of people supporting me, including my family, friends, and people I’ve met on the trail. Many thanks to all of you – you know who you are.
I am so grateful to be here; to have the opportunity to hike the PCT and, in a broader sense, to be in a place where I can go after my dreams and get the most out of my life.
So much happens everyday on trail that hours can feel like days and days can feel like weeks. I’ll finish this post up with some photos – here are some of my favorite views from the past few days.
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You are an amazing young woman in so many ways. Loving your blog, your haircut and especially that photo of you in tie die. Congrats on walking the trail. What an accomplishment……and for being yourself. I look forward to the next post.
Taylor you’re the best! I love your insight. And I’m so happy for you that you get to be so free at that you are relentlessly following your dreams.
Reading this made me realize just how lucky I am to have you as a friend. Seriously. This freedom of yours, this desire to just be yourself and go out and adventure… Without that and without you, would I ever have done a bike tour? I don’t know. Maybe not! And would I have ever learned so many valuable life lessons? I would I be nearly as adventurous? I think not!
So, here’s to you, to being free and living your life openly, and to the positive impact this does not only have on yourself, but those around you.
You are awesome!
I’m a proud friend. Rock on, Weixl! Also, I think that tye dye outfit needs to make a comeback…
I love reading about life on the trail and hearing about all that it is teaching you. Thanks for sharing . You are amazing Taylor!
I am so impressed with your accomplishments, and with your grit and determination. You are certainly a Canadian Treasure! So pleased to get to work with you this last winter, to discover your plans for this epic trip and to be able follow your fabulous adventure!
Great post and very interesting evolution into Self discovery. The PCT is about freedom, as much now as in 1985 when I did the trail. Trail families are very self affirming and supportive, as well as, the deep historical context of Native Cosmology that you experience while hiking through the original lands and sanctuaries of many native nations- the cultural anthropology and human geography of the trail. Allies come in many forms and manifestations, often in nonverbal ways.I encourage you and others to look into the vast spiritual cosmology that Native folks have developed and contemplate this as you journey towards BC. Good luck on your hike and knowing that you have a lifelong friend and relationship to the PCT as a way you discovered your Self. It is a lifelong bond that will endure past any career,relationships w others you may have! 2 Spirits 85 and still ontrail abit every year since
I wish the tie dye outfit showed the socks- I am sure they would have been tie dye too!
Love reading your blog- and love you too!
xo Aunt Lickie
I kinda agree with you about the gay/coming out thing — once you’ve taken that one leap to defy societal norms, other steps are easier too. You end up living an unconventional life with less fear.