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  1. #1
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    Default This is the most I've ever written in my life outside of school

    My flight leaves on April 1. Will spend the night at the airport then take my first step on the trail April 3.

    I'm not anxious. I'm not worried. I'm relieved.

    If I had to pick something to be anxious about it would be the introspective part. The physical aspect does not make me wary in the least bit. I know how to be alone with my own thoughts, but I'm pretty sure taking on a long journey will bring up deep thoughts about who I am that I have always avoided getting into. I tend to avoid going too deeply into that subject matter because I've always had to stay focused on homework, tests, work, and general life distractions. Having an existential crisis quietly to yourself at a young age can mess you up when you're in the middle of doing something you didn't want to be doing in the first place. My life has been constructed in the traditional path of school, school, more school than a career. The fact that I suddenly chose the AT marks my rejection of that life. It was so hard to break away when I've spent my entire life working in one direction. None of it made sense to me. That's why I'm relieved even though I have nearly $30,000 in student debt remaining. My mental commitment to anything has never been so surefooted.

    Writing will be one of my go to ways of self introspective extraction. This may be why I avoided writing my whole life. There's many things I've been avoiding. The time has come to start letting go of such nonsense. Writing just happens to be one thing I've been willfully neglecting. Its a great tool to use for growth but I hope to get better and use it as a means to connect to the world as well.

    Well no more excuses, this is happening and I'm not going to back down. I'm opening the flood gates and marching forward one step at a time. Ever since I was little, I would go off in hiding and do my own thing. Now I'll be opening up little by little. Step by step. I'm breaking away from what has felt so wrong for too long.

    Katahdin is not my true destination. I hope you join in on my journey and throw me a few scraps of thought along the way.


    Chasing dreams,
    Affirm
    www.facebook.com/affirm2014
    www.trailjournals.com/affirm

  2. #2
    Registered User skinnbones's Avatar
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    Enjoy the hike.

  3. #3
    Registered User sureaboutthis's Avatar
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    Don't overthink it. If it's a pilgrimage you're after, okay, but try to keep some perspective and don't just live inside your head the whole time.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    I think we all started with similar thoughts. Who am I? Will I learn about myself? Will I change? You'll be surprised just how much of a back seat that takes to getting your butt from point A to point B on a given day, or what a blast you're having with the trail buds you've met. All of a sudden you're in Vermont wondering if you'll get around to learning the answers to life's questions. Don't worry about it, just take it as it comes.

  5. #5
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Affirmative View Post
    Writing will be one of my go to ways of self introspective extraction. This may be why I avoided writing my whole life. There's many things I've been avoiding. The time has come to start letting go of such nonsense. Writing just happens to be one thing I've been willfully neglecting. Its a great tool to use for growth but I hope to get better and use it as a means to connect to the world as well.
    I just wanted to comment that you write very well for someone who claims to have avoided doing so. Given the amount of school you have completed, obviously you had to write quite a bit, so "avoiding writing" is probably very relative. Good luck on your hike and keep everyone posted via your journal or directly here at WB.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    I just wanted to comment that you write very well for someone who claims to have avoided doing so. Given the amount of school you have completed, obviously you had to write quite a bit, so "avoiding writing" is probably very relative. Good luck on your hike and keep everyone posted via your journal or directly here at WB.
    Well I meant writing introspectively. I went through the International Baccalaureate program in high school which means you have to develop the ability to read, write, analyze and spout miles of information while half asleep and desperately clinging onto dear life.

    I've never wrote about myself or kept a journal before because it was the only way I could get through life - just keep moving forward and don't look back.

    The reason why I'm doing this hike is to take my time and enjoy everything I can. I'll be indulging in the simplicity of trail life and taking a few moments to reflect when I get the chance. I would just stay in San Diego if I wanted a walk in the park to think things over.

    I appreciate all the input I can get though. I'm just not hiking with questions in my head and looking for answers. I don't really have any expectations since I'll be taking it moment by moment just to see what happens. All I know is that there are no answers. Change will constantly happen whether its on the trail or off the trail. There's only one goal - constant self improvement in no specific area until the day I die. Therefore, Katahdin is just an intended waypoint. To better my odds of seeing it all the way through, I've made this thru hike a personal rite of passage of mine. A specific point in my life that I can directly refer to as a period of transition.

  7. #7
    Registered User Damn Yankee's Avatar
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    I also love to write. I enjoy reading your style. Hopefully you will find time to keeping up your journal. I would love to read it and follow you along your path to enlightenment

    "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."
    Isaiah 55:12

  8. #8
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    I think if you look up and study the meaning of the "sabbath" it comes close to my idea of what a thru-hike is for most folks. "Sabbatical" is also related. It's a time-out. A departure from the daily grind. Turning our thoughts from profit and competition to nature and cooperation. Old man MacKaye was pretty explicit about this.

    Not many people get to do this. It takes a certain level of well-being, planning, and just plain good fortune to do what you're doing. So take each moment as a gift, whatever happens.

  9. #9

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    Enjoy your hike...but please pay off your student loans.

  10. #10
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    I actually tried from time to time to think about the "big issues" while walking the AT. I never could find the time. Simply too busy thinking about the next water, the next camp sight, the things I saw or thought I saw, the gear that needs fixing, what will I eat when i get to town, should I resupply and skip staying the town, motel room, hostel, beer. Once I was out of Georgia I thought about food, food,..... and often food.
    Everything is in Walking Distance

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