Thanksgiving was a stressful time this year due to an illness in my family and car trouble, but in the end it all worked out. I wonder if going on this hike will help me learn to stress less. I could benefit from some nature therapy. I work with machines and chemicals all day. The constant noise of the machinery and the chlorine fumes are just overwhelming sometimes. There are definitely parts of my job that I love, and I believe I am making a difference and doing good things, but I need a break. I need some variety. I don’t function well doing the same thing over and over again, and soon I start looking for something else. I’m actually pretty amazed that I’ve kept the same job for almost six years. It’s a personal record and a testament to how much I really do love what I’m doing.
I talked to my boss a couple of days ago, and gave him a heads up that I’ll be leaving in the spring for this hike. I hadn’t really kept it a secret so he had heard rumors. I don’t know if this job or another job at this company will be available when I’m done with my hike. I’m kind of content to let fate chart her course and see what is beckoning next November-ish. I’m upsetting the apple cart and I don’t know what will come of it. There is a freeing feeling as I take the steps to make my thru-hike a reality, and yes, I am feeling some fear. The responsible, rational part of me is saying, “You’re an idiot to give up a good job that you love (who cares if you're bored?), your friends, your house, make your pets wait six months with other people and not have a plan for what to do when you’re done, especially in this economy.” I can’t even argue with that. I’m interrupting a good life to follow this enticing dream and what if it doesn’t work out for me? What then? Well, all I know is that I’ve made drastic moves in the past, and I didn’t die. I survived. Some worked out better than others, but none of them were as compelling to me as hiking the Appalachian Trail is. So, that is my choice. I will follow the energy. I’ll follow my heart and trust that it will be totally worth it, no matter the outcome.
Oh, and I got my trekking poles last night. Woo Hoo! I practiced with them on my lunch walk today. It was sunny and beautiful and I felt like a “real” hiker with my trekking poles. I got into a rhythm with them and could almost imagine I was already hiking the Appalachian Trail. I have a few things to focus on before then. I’ll be singing a solo in a Christmas concert in December, and I’m preparing my prints for my first photography show in January, but always in the background, always in my mind, the trail is calling, calling, calling, and April is only a few months away.