Six Year Anniversary

The first day of spring, March 20th, was my six year anniversary of starting my Appalachian Trail thru-hike. I normally don’t think of this day (or my AT hike) as a big deal. Lots of people hike that trail. And I rarely think of moments from that particular hike, as I have better backpacking memories from the trails I hiked after that one. But I started thinking about what I have done since that day that I took my first steps in Georgia… I have backpacked approximately 5,500 miles, began a serious yoga practice, became certified to teach yoga, have been teaching for the past three years, chose to leave a job I had spent a majority of my life unhappily in to pursue my inherent interests, created a successful presentation that I have delivered 40 times to date (to over 1,100) people, written over 600 pages on my experiences on the trails, and have started to explore my artistic side. I feel as though “most” of my life has happened in these last six years (in terms of me stepping into my own power and not living as others have expected me to). And yet, it feels like I have done so little in this time! For more than 2 of those years, I have been “unemployed” and living well below the poverty level. For much of this time, I have felt stagnant and have been struggling tremendously in many ways. I have suffered from numerous injuries, been continuously internally sick since my second month of my Pacific Crest Trail hike, and recently had to have knee surgery (as a result of listening to my yoga teacher instead of myself), ending my hopes of attempting to hike the Continental Divide Trail this year. Although I have experienced most of my best life moments in this period, I have experienced some of my hardest, as well (the thread of which seems to be continuous). Thinking about all that has happened (and all that has not happened) within this seemingly short period of six years makes me feel as though I am living in some sort of time warp! The Appalachian Trail feels like such a distant memory- like it happened a lifetime ago. How could I have done so much in this relatively short period of time and yet feel as though I have hardly done anything at all?

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