You know I don’t normally start my posts with a photo. I feel like photos are there to help illustrate a story.
But not today.
The photo IS the story. It’s the pile of crap I have begun to amass for The Next Big Thing. As the pile gets bigger, so does the feeling that I am a fraud.
So I keep asking myself, is The Next Big Thing real? The answer is always yes.
Unfortunately, I find I am surrounded by skeptics. Oh they don’t say much, except when I bought a ridiculously large knife with all kinds of survival gear tucked into the handle, and my Eagle Scout of a husband scoffed and said I had fallen for a gimmick.
I defended my choice while unloading the fishing hook, matches, compass, and showing him how I would defend myself against a bear. What I got was an impatient and curt reply, “If a bear gets that close to you, you would already be dead”.
I was afraid of that.
And this will be why the dreaded bear canister will be the last thing I buy to complete my backpacking ensemble. Because that means if it is really real, I will have to face my worst fear…bears.
And that’s also why I now know that this 57 year old (just by a couple of weeks mind you) city girl whose only real survival skill is finding parking in LA, will be backpacking the Lost Coast of California alone. The look on the Eagle Scout’s face said it all, he is beyond humoring me on this trip.
This is not new. But guess what is new…nobody’s skepticism makes this bucket list item less real for me, in fact it hardens my resolve.
But let me tell you why.
This is the first time I have dared ever make a decision for just me. When I wasn’t running away or to something, when I wasn’t traumatized into or out of my comfort zone.
I am doing it because I want to…but somewhere else is the unrelenting desire to do it because I have to. Because I can’t back down. Not to the skeptics, but most of all…not to myself.
Not break the promise that I made to myself every time I was in the Grand Canyon, or Lake Powell, or Kings Canyon or Sequoia National Park or Zion or Bryce, or any other place in nature…that I would be back when I didn’t have to rush home to the cement jungle to be at work Monday morning.
Rush home because I couldn’t ever take off more than a week. It was too grueling trying to get caught back up on emails, meetings, payroll, budgets, deadlines, etc.
But I don’t have those constraints now. For the first time in my life, my time is my own.
So are my decisions.
My decisions for the last 57 years were made with the best interest of my parents, kid(s), husband(s), sister, nieces, and whoever else was most dominant in my life at the time. Unfortunately, the last person on my list of important people to consider was me.
So the pile in the room we loosely call the office (loosely because nothing really productive happens there remember) keeps growing.
I have to start my training from ground zero again. The hip injury from my overzealous conquering of the Ice House Trail healed rather quickly, compared to my injury being an excuse to throw myself into the holidays and making it perfect for family and friends.
There I said it. I know what my true weaknesses are
But the holidays are past, and my overdeveloped sense of responsibility to be all things to all people is temporarily sated.
So bring it skeptics…this $&*! is real because I said so.
Until next time dear diary.