Just a few days till I hike out. Everything has led me to this point. My jobs, my friends, growing up in the woods, all of this has prepared me for this journey. You prepare for so long, doing whatever it takes to leave this place, and now that your chance to leave is finally here, you find a reason to stay. With everything that has been going on I’ve been distracted from what I have been feeling. Packing, preparing, moving, my brother coming into town has been a big distraction from any and all feelings. The feeling that I am not leaving, but I am finally going home.
To answer the ever prevailing questions, I am not nervous at all and I am excited. This venture has been a long time coming and really and truly feels like I’ve been away too long from what I should be doing. Today I was asked to speak to a class about the Appalachian Trail for a few minutes. Those few minutes turned into more than a hour of questions, stories and learning for both them and myself. I was honored to have been asked to speak with them and I look forward to seeing them again in the fall when I return.
This Friday, tomorrow, is the last time I’ll see some of my friends for a very long time. I can’t wait to see everyone. To have a few drinks, many laughs, tell stories and catch up. You never realize how long you’ve been distracted till you have nothing to do, just time to think of when you last saw them and you last did this or that. This isn’t the first time I’ve gone away, I am not sure why I am feeling like this. In coming this far I’ve had to sacrifice a few things along the way. Maybe that dedication, that commitment, staying the course is why I am hesitant to see them. It’s not that I dont want to move forward but I don’t know why I am suddenly having a hard time leaving. I will truly miss them, of that I am sure.
Kim introduced me to a song a few weeks ago, Below My Feet by Mumford and Sons. “Keep the earth below my feet…let me learn from where I have been…” It serves as a reminder to keep my feet on the ground and my eyes on the prize. To not get caught up in everything around me, keeping me grounded. Reminding me to stay humble while I find my place, my calling in this world. I feel that sometimes we loose our way, when we get too caught up in the process, instead of letting go of the wheel and enjoying the ride.
I hope that as I progress on this journey that I can remain true to myself, to not get lost in the fun, excitement, the hardship, and unforgiving terrain. Sometimes you have to start from scratch, do it just for the fun of it. With every step I take physically, metaphorically I will try to keep the earth below my feet.