Appalachian Trail, Blogging, Everyday

Here, is where I belong

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.

 

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Everyday

Turn turn turn

Fall, the autumn equinox.  The changing of the seasons.  I’ve had some major changes occur as I have watched a year of seasons go by. Sometimes change can be difficult to deal with.  Sometimes it can be a time to rejoice, but it is inevitable and no matter what we have to remember to keep moving forward.

Last winter marked a time of loss and of letting go for me.  I lost, what I thought was, my “dream job” and it was very devastating.  It made winter feel very sad, quiet, and depressing at times.  I mean what was I going to do now?  I had planned on making some changes in my life at the beginning of the year, but that was all under my own control.  With this happening the way it did, I felt a complete lack of control which became very hard to deal with.  This change, this ending of a season of my life, filled me with feelings of uncertainty, anger, fear, grief, and sadness.  It was hard for me to see any of the good that would come from it.

For the first time in my marriage I really had to let my husband take the wheel and be our sole provider.  We were not destitute by any means but I felt a little less value in myself because I was not giving back to our family.  He reassured me over and over that it would be fine and that all he wanted from me was to take some much-needed time off and to do the things that I loved.  That was hard at first.  I mean the things that I loved were not going to pay our bills or put food in our mouths.  I was very out of my comfort zone.  Plus there were days that I had a very hard time getting over the anger and sadness inside of me.

Winter changed to spring and spring brought a glimmer of new beginnings as I started to rediscover myself.  I have always enjoyed writing and recently had discovered a pull towards photography as well.  I have had this blog on and off for years but never really had the time to commit myself to it.  So I dove into writing almost immediately. I made sure to write almost every day.  I joined a “No Spend” challenge and had shared my progress, which helped to hold me accountable for writing something everyday.  I also found myself writing about my feelings and my running and my choice to be vegan.

When I opened myself up to the universe in this way, the universe gave back.  I had followers!  Actual people who wanted to read my blog.  I was putting something out there that in whatever way, shape, or form someone else found a use for.  That was very awesome feeling.  I also had all the time that I needed to sign up for and take 4 different photography sessions.  I learned the basics, the not so basics and about Abode Photoshop and Lightroom.  I love learning and I loved being creative.  I also loved connecting to a hobby that my father had the same interest in.  It felt like it was natural for me to have a connection to a camera because its presence was always there as I was growing up. Creativity was always a part of my life when I was younger as well.  Over the years I had forgotten that.  Life always had away of showing up and pushing creativity farther and farther away.  And when you start to disconnect from something like that, I think  you start to disconnect from your true self.

Summer came in shortly after and everything was just starting to get heated up.  I was starting to realize that what happened in the past was just that; the past.  I had started to learn to let go and really take in everything that I loved.  I went to the gym more.  I read more books then I had read in a long time.  I had forgotten the joy in that.  I had even found myself the perfect part time job within walking distance of my house.  I made greater connections with my friends and family.  And I shared a lot of it right here on my blog.  I really started to understand the force in allowing yourself to be yourself and not worry about what anyone else thought of you or your life style.  I am blessed to have a wonderful home, a husband and parents who love me for me, two fur babies that have been through everything the last 13 years has thrown at me, great friends, good health, a great new job and so much more to look forward to.

Winter changed to spring, spring into summer and now here I am, almost a full year later; entering into my favorite season of them all.  Fall.  For me fall is my time of rebirth.  I know that seems backwards but I have always lived in a hot climate so when the cooler nights and milder days start to roll in I feel sheer bliss.  It means the start of running season.  Pumpkins and fall festivals.  Hoodies and hot tea.  Everything that makes me feel warm and toasty and loved.

It also means that I have come full circle from last winter.  It’s amazing how true the statement “a year from now, this will seem like nothing” is.  When you are suffering within a hard time, it can feel like you are drowning.  Like nothing will ever be the same and the sadness will consume you.  But time literally does heal all wounds.  From time to time I still find myself annoyed with the past but not like I used to be.  I literally used to have bad dreams and ill thoughts that could spin me into a sad, dark, place.  I would let my anger consume me to the point of exhausting tears.  But I have come to terms with those circumstances.  The door that slammed shut allowed me to see down the hallway of new possibilities.  I no longer focus my energy on that closed door.  Instead I walk from (new open) door to door and allow myself to feel free.

 

 

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