“You have to regard yourself as a cloud, in the flesh, because you see clouds never make mistakes… Did you ever see a cloud that was misshapen? Did you ever see a badly designed wave? Heh, no they always do the right thing.
But if you will treat yourself for awhile as a cloud, a wave, and realize that you can’t make a mistake, whatever you do. Because even if you do something that seems to be totally disastrous, it all come out in the wash somehow or other.
Then through this capacity you will develop a kind of confidence, and through confidence you will be able to trust your own intuition.
But this is the middle way of knowing it has nothing to do with your decision to do this or not, whether you decide that you can’t make a mistake or don’t decide it – it is true anyway – that you are like cloud and water.
And through that realisation without overcompensating in the other direction, you will come to the point where you begin to be on good terms with your own being and to be able to trust your own brain.”
— Alan Watts
The amount of preparation that’s gone into this adventure is really beginning to hit me. For a good 8 months, it’s been all I breathe and think about. My friends and family must be sick of hearing about the Appalachian Trail at this point, but it’s become my entire life. Just as someone who is getting married, having a baby, going to college, buying a house – you name it – it just consumes you.
A lot has built up to this moment. I’m reflecting on it daily.
Would I be here – at this very moment – if it weren’t for all the events that transpired within the last year? Nope. That’s the silver lining.
It’s finally here; January 1st, 2017. A year many have wanted to arrive as soon as possible.
2016 had its moments of highs and lows in the public eye. Much sadness that hit so many, so close.
But how long can we dwell on sadness? Negativity is a black hole, poisoning your psyche as you go about your daily life.
I know it all too well. Depression and Anxiety love to become that friend you cannot rid yourself of.
But who am I to talk? Most either understand the struggle or say to “toughen up, it can’t be that bad”. Some don’t recognise the true seriousness of mental illnesses, but with each year our society strives to support and inform.
So why open this new journal and have my first post focus on Depression and Anxiety Disorder? Well, because it’s what has brought me to this very moment in time – where you realise that major life changes must be achieved to further better yourself. Major changes you’ve only dreamt of, but now will act upon.
I am not my Anxiety. I am not my Depression. It is just a chemical imbalance I inherited from my family’s genetics. Scientifically, it is a part of my biological makeup. Multiple medications over the years have helped me wake up from a life I was not living just a few years back.
Medication only does so much for individuals; we all react differently. My true medication though, where I find the most peace and open mindedness, is in Mother Nature.
Hiking fights the dark vibes that creep into perfect and happy days. No one wants to feel an emptiness and sadness for an unknown reason. It’s terribly frustrating! So you must find, for whatever you love to do, that catalyst that changes your mind’s process.
That’s what this journal is all about. Facing what has kept me falling behind, accepting what I must deal with, how to better myself, and finding serenity on the Appalachian Trail.
A goal of mine for 2017 is to open up. Open up so much I’ve kept inside from the sheer thought of it being considered a weakness rather than a strength. I feel this journal will do some good, especially as it will compliment my thruhike this year.
Yes, this 2017 season I am thruhiking the Appalachian Trail. 2200 miles, beginning at Springer Mountain, Georgia all the way up to Mount Katahdin, Maine. This journey will take around 4-6 months, pushing myself to the extreme because adventure is what is in my blood.
I am Adventure.
I am Nature.
I am prepared to Evolve.