Last year one of my close friends, Kristen Steele, set out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail by herself. She is a kindred spirit, a deeply feeling sensitive soulful warrior. With her permission, I'm sharing these words she wrote on her journey:
"Thought a lot today about how my life used to be, how I used to be. I used to feel so at the mercy of life, like I was in the middle of the ocean clinging to a tiny raft, always on the verge of drowning. Seven or eight years ago, I never would have believed it possible that I would be able to do something like this. I was too afraid, always, of doing something and of never doing anything at all. Then one night, lying in bed wishing I could just dissolve into the mattress, I thought, 'I can’t go on like this anymore. I have to decide either to live or to die, but I can’t keep straddling the line.' I decided that since I’d never really given myself a chance at living, I’d try that and if it didn’t work out I could always die later. I know that’s all really dark, but it’s just the truth of what was going on with me then.
"That was the moment I remember when everything started to shift. It didn’t happen overnight. It took a long, long time. But slowly, books, movies, podcasts, radio shows, conversations, opportunities to pursue dormant interests began finding their way to me in digestible ways. And I began to change my outlook. Yadda, yadda, yadda, and here I am, married to the love of my life, doing fulfilling work, and hiking 2,658 miles through some of the most of magnificent landscapes in the world.
"One of my goals for this adventure was to allow myself to be joyfully exuberant, full throttle -- bouncing off the walls excited about life. I think today I realized that I am joyfully exuberant already. I just have to stop making so many judgements about what that should look like and just allow myself to be as I am."
Amen to that and love you, @steeleoutside. Image by @artworkbylie