My graduation from college was followed by the most mentally and physically arduous pilgrimage of my life thus far, an experience which has thrown me into the greatest transition I have ever been through. Kind of feels like a mid-life crisis, but I’m too young for that! It has been a roller coaster of excitement, sadness, self-love, self-doubt, loneliness, power, emptiness, independence, frustration, pride, inspiration, fullness, and a lack of motivation. Each day is different, which is telling me something very big is on the horizon.
One thing that rings true for me – is that in order for us to transform ourselves, we must first be broken. Something that we thought would always be there must end in order for something brand new to be born. For me, it is a path of independent adventure. I am focused on what I need to do in order to live a life that fulfills me. I am learning that nothing in life is permanent and things can change in an instant which has enabled me to accept a new path…
You can either be a victim to this change or use it as a tool to live what I like to call… “AN EPIC FUCKIN’ LIFE”!!
The trail is a perfect metaphor for almost anything in life. You live the most simple truths because they are all you have. Here are only twelve of the many lessons/gifts that walking over 2,000 miles gave to me:
~ In order to move forward you must let go of the past, because it’s behind you now. Your survival is reliant on your ability to focus on what is happening right now.
~ Don’t try to live faster than the pace your feet can travel – you will get there, enjoy where you are now.
~ No matter how difficult an obstacle, you have the power in you to overcome it. Never give up, unless it will certainly kill you, then maybe you shouldn’t do it.
~ Some days totally suck but a good day is always on the horizon. The hardships you endured are always paid off with the strength you feel from overcoming something so difficult and of course the beautiful places your audacity has taken you. Remember this on those crappy days.
~ Just when you think you’ve reached the top of a mountain, you see there are many more mountains for you to climb.
~ Sometimes, when you want to quit, you’re in the middle of nowhere and can’t do anything about it. Suck it up and keep walking. After all, moving forward is all you can do.
~ People come and go, when they do go, you may never see them again. Enjoy them for everything they are right now.
~ When walking gets boring, DANCE.
~ When walking is too easy, flex your butt muscles and get the most out of the path you are on.
~ If you fall over, get up, yell about it, then move on.
~ If someone wants to help you, let them and let their generosity help you to become more giving of yourself.
~ If it’s raining, get your butt up anyway. Magic can be found in all types of weather. Even on dark, cloudy, rainy days there is always something beautiful to be discovered.
The lessons from the trail are endless, discover some for yourself…
Since I returned home from my long walk I haven’t just been moping around (maybe I have a little bit) but I have been staying busy with friends, occasionally pretending to be a transient, drinking wine, looking at rainbows, holding babies, throwing snowballs, swimming in the ocean, wearing silly hats, journaling, singing loudly and terribly, drinking ridiculously healthy smoothies, making a montage about my trip, looking for work, and routinely jogging 4 miles a day, ending at the top of my local mountain to watch the sun set. Witnessing the setting of the sun on a daily basis has become the one thing that brings me the most happiness and peace during this turbulent period in my life. Also, I discovered the most delightful dance community in San Diego, with whom I have been dancing my heart out. It feels so good to have this outlet. It is very healing and has brought me much joy.
For my next adventure, the time has come. I am going to Mexico at the end of this month. I will be living among other people who strive for a more simple life in a sustainable community in Baja. I don’t really know what it is going to be like yet, but I can tell you I will be learning how to build earthen homes, working hard in the gardens, living in a tent, hiking to swimming holes, hot springs, and waterfalls as well as developing myself as an independent woman. Please stay tuned for my adventures there. I am flying out on December 31st! What a way to start the new year!
Recently, I made a rough “life itinerary” to help me stay focused on achieving my goals and living epically. This winter and beginning of next spring I will be spending my time living in this community in Baja. Next summer of 2014 I will be working a seasonal summer job somewhere in the states doing what I love: environmental education, or something similar in the outdoors. In the Fall of 2014 I will attend the Burning Man festival and that winter I will work my butt off to save for my next big adventure, back on the trail summer of 2015. My goal is to walk every single mile of the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada and put it to rest so that I can move on to other long distance trails. All of this is subject to rearrange, change, and be accommodated to as time goes on but at least I have an idea of how I would like my life to go over the next two years.
Here I go!