Leaving Life for Six Months

I just want to start by saying that this is not at all a post that I expected to be writing today, this month, or even this year. But nevertheless, here we are.

Let’s start way back in November of 2016. I made a decision to save up money and move to Pittsburgh the upcoming August or September. Which is currently happening right now. So I made that decision and I set my life up for that to become my reality. I saved, I thought about where I want to live, what job I’d like to work, etc. Then as June rolled around things were getting close and I knew that it was crunch time to make this happen. People in my life began finding out that this was going to be a thing. I started actually going to look at apartments, seeking out roommates, applying and setting up job interviews, and really making this thing very real.

Everything was happening and the only thing that needed secured at this point was a place to live. I had 3 different meetings set up with roommates to talk about and possibly sign a lease. I was so excited but also so sad about the whole thing. I started noticing little things throughout my days that would no longer exist and those things made me miserable.

I was driving home one night and the sky was so clear. Living in the country makes that a prime opportunity to see the stars, which I’m slightly (okay, very) obsessed with. So I see the stars and I begin thinking to myself how I won’t be able to see the stars as well once I move to Pittsburgh. After having that thought things shifted and over a period of about 3 hours I decided that I wasn’t moving to Pittsburgh anymore.

I cancelled my meetings, interviews, and all of the ideas of what my life would soon become. Done, over, not happening.

That choice also sparked sadness within me, too. It’s not that I don’t want to do that anymore. Ultimately I think that will still end up happening. But who really knows. Before that, or anything else happens I need to do something else first.

You know how you have those things that you really want to do “someday?” Someday I’ll run a marathon. Someday I’ll move to the beach. Someday I’ll go through my closet. Someday I’ll quit drinking. Someday I’ll seek out a better job.

We’re all familiar with the someday sickness. The thing that you tell yourself to make yourself feel better about not doing the big scary thing.

The problem with that is the fact that oftentimes we don’t end up doing the things that we promise ourselves will someday happen. We end up waking up one day and realizing how much time has passed by and how much further away we are from our someday dreams because we’ve built our lives to go in the complete opposite direction of that thing. We end up tricking ourselves into thinking that certain things are actually what we want and the someday things are just things that would be cool to do and are fun to thing about. But when actually following through and making the someday things a reality things become difficult and we become uncomfortable. Feeling uncomfortable is not fun or exciting so we avoid it. But that’s where the big things, the growth happens.

I have had this goal for a while now, a big someday goal. One that I didn’t really think was possible for me to do right now for a number of reasons/excuses. Almost moving to Pittsburgh made me realize that I was not walking closer to that goal, but further away from it. The fear of not accomplishing or even attempting that goal was scarier than the thought of actually making it happen.

And that’s how I got here.

So next year, March 2018 I’ll be thru hiking the Appalachian Trail. I’ll be quitting my job, walking all 2,190 miles, living in the woods, eating a totally different diet than I do right now, being away from my dog for 6 months, and encountering all kinds of things that I’m sure that I can’t even think of along the way.

And yikes, I’m terrified/excited. But I’m doing it.

As of right now I’m going to be doing it alone. I would prefer to hike it with someone else, but I don’t have anyone else interested in taking on the challenge with me. I’ll be doing it on my own unless I find someone else between now and that time. If that’s you, hit me up!
I’ll be buying all of the gear that I will be taking which is quite the financial investment.
The heart wants what it wants though so I’m going to be making that happen.

I’ve never hiked a long distance hike before and everything in that aspect will be completely new to me. I’ve started researching even before I knew for sure that I was going to do this and I have a lot of hours left to research before March. I have a lot of questions, a ton of concerns, and all of the feelings surrounding leaving your life for 6 months to walk through the woods for hours on end each day.

That’s okay though. This someday goal isn’t one that I’m going to let slip by. It’s something that I bring up and think about often enough in my everyday life to not let it be pushed to the wayside.

With it comes a lot of uncertainty and uncomfortable feelings. I don’t feel like I’m ready or will ever be ready. But I have time to get as ready as I can be. I don’t think you ever feel 100% ready for something so new and daunting. But that’s okay.

Like I said, the heart wants what it wants. So I’m going to give it exactly that.

And I’m going to be getting even better views of the stars.

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

–Flora Whittemore

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