I wrote this in the summer of 2017, right before I left for the Appalachian Trail. I wanted to document how I was feeling. It was as if I needed to justify my crazy plans… to make sense of them. This mindset is what spurred the next 2 years.
“I have great respect for the past. If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going.” – Maya Angelou
So many of us live this life. You go to college, get a 4 year degree, and hope to find that full time job with benefits. So that’s exactly what I did. I wore my heart on my sleeve and was lucky enough to find people that believed in me. I managed to work for close to 10 years in the 9-5 mainstream. I enjoyed it as most people do. The simplicity of having a schedule made for you, having somewhere to be to earn the lifestyle you could afford.
I knew in my heart that I could not do that type of lifestyle for much longer, it wore down on me as I couldn’t seem to hit snooze enough times. But what else was there? What else could I possibly do?
Before I could even figure it out, I lost that security, a lay off. I learned quickly how engrained it is in our culture to live that type of life. How else could you possibly get by? I honestly didn’t have the answer, and felt immense pressures from every side to somehow figure out what to do, and fast.
Long story short, it took me 6 months. 6 months interviews, 6 months of crying, 6 months of working every side job I could. 6 months of explaining to everyone I knew of my barely there plans.
I managed to be lucky enough to have a trip to Asia planned, which helped prepare me for what’s really important in life (check out my Thailand post)
But once I had gotten back the questions remained. Only after some inspiration and a lot of looking into myself I realized something.
For the first time in my life, I felt free. If I could rid myself of the baggage of unnecessary belongings, save some money, I could go, anywhere. I worked my whole life, paying money towards taxes and unemployment, why not use it to my advantage ?? I picked myself up, managed to get a great gig at a famous local diner, and met so many more people like me. Artsy, quirky, and free. The time seemed right. It was time to go.
Buffalo had been my home my whole life (minus a short stint in California, that pretty much was a disaster), could I even build a life somewhere else? And where? Beyond that, I really wanted to do something for me and Indy. Indy is my world, and if I’ve learned anything, it’s to cherish all the time you’re given with what you love.
I loved Indy, and being outdoors. So, after a lot of thought, internet searches, and contests entered, the plan of hiking the Appalachian trail came to be a reality.
Right now I continue to work as much as I can for tips. When I’m not selling my soul for beers or over easy eggs, I’m busy selling everything I own. working out to build up my strength for my the upcoming physical challenge of the century. making sure the fur baby is happy at night. and if I can muster it, using that last bit of strength I have left to look people dead in the eye and be strong for myself no matter what they might say.
During this time, I was frantically selling everything I could, working 2 jobs, throwing everything that could be used in a van conversion into storage, meanwhile trying to mentally prepare myself to live in the woods with Indy. I had no idea the trail would ruin my life…for the better.