The other day I had a friend that I haven’t talked to for a while email and ask me if I was still going to hike the trail. See, I had planned on doing a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine in the spring of 2017 (see blog posts starting here). He lived in Georgia at the time and was considering starting off with me just for the weekend. Things in my life changed and as my start date got closer and closer (April 10th), I realized that this year was not going to be the right time for me. Even though I was a little disappointed I was also a little relieved. The year before I was in a weird place in my life where I felt like I needed to alter my viewpoint and what better place to do that then on a 2100+ mile trek? I felt the need to walk out of my life and walk into a trail life for what could be over 6 months. Although my family and friends were supportive, I think they were all relieved as well that I had changed my mind.
A couple of months before what would have been my start date, I had let one of my 13-year-old cats cross the rainbow bridge because she was loosing her battle with cancer. It was devastating and as I was going through those emotions, I couldn’t even imagine leaving my husband and our other cat behind at the time. So April came and went and then in the summer I had to face an even bigger loss in my family when my father passed away from cancer as well. If I had been on the trail, I might have been too late to have ever said goodbye and I can’t imagine how my life would have been after that.
I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and there was a higher power that was holding me back from the hike so that I would be able to be with my loved ones in a massive time of need.
I replied back to my friend that, for now, I didn’t have a new start date in mind. Not that I would rule it out for the rest of my life but that my life had changed so much in the past 6 months that I have been looking at it differently. I told him that “…before my father died, I felt the need to find myself on the trail, but after he died I feel like I have found myself right where I am. If that makes sense”.
And even though I don’t know exactly what 2018 is going to look like, I am confident that I will discover even more of who I am, right here where I belong.