1 month until my trip. This is both super exciting and scaring the shit out of me. While I don’t prefer John Mayer as a person much at all, I continually go back to this photo for inspiration when fear about my trip starts creeping in. As with major life event, there are many many emotions that go through my head. Like a ferris wheel, the emotions keep circling around… excitement, fear, anticipation, happiness, mom guilt and then back around again… excitement, fear… you get the point. At this particular moment, With the 1 month mark happening I’m focusing on fear and also how I’m managing it now and through my trip. Things that give me small pangs of panic:
1. Gear: The long and short of it is that I have all of my gear. I have spent COUNTLESS hours reading about gear. I never thought I’d give 2 shits about how an ounce is going to affect my life… until this adventure started. I’ve skimmed magazines, FB groups, online forums and met with many mountain folks to get their 2 cents. While my gear list is not quite in digital form, it is complete. Pictures hopefully following in a couple days. Now that I have it all, the fear is behind: Have I chose the right option for this long of a hike? What am I going to do if something fails? Questions like that. Fear control tactic #1: Reminding myself that others have done this journey with far less than I have. Heck, John Muir did it with a couple blankets and some tea. The most important piece of gear I have is inside. The fire in my heart to face the trail one step at a time. Water can be pure, food can be warm, tent can shield rain, but none of it is important if your feet don’t move forward. One step at a time.
2. Leaving Brook: I’m sure many people have opinions about me leaving my child for 3 weeks. Believe me, they aren’t the only ones. Pangs of mom guilt creep in more frequently as the trip gets closer. While some my say I’m selfish for embarking on this journey, I’d say they are wrong. I’m a far better and happier mommy if I don’t ignore my deepest desires and spend some serious “me” reflection time every once in awhile. Fear control tactic #2: While I spend a great deal of my time making sure that Brookie is happy and flourishing in life, I have to remember that I am a human with needs too. My choice to embark on a journey I’ve dreamed about forever will show her that woman can be strong and independent. It will show her that time to oneself is necessary. And it will allow her time to bond with other family beside me. (side note:) I do have a satellite messenger so she can see where I am each night and she will have lots of care package goodies!
3. Being alone: I will be spending about 10 days on the trail alone. I’m starting with a couple girls and ending with my Dear Beau. But the time in between will be with me, myself and I. The days don’t scare me, it’s the nights that send a shiver up my spine. Fear control tactic #3: Entering tent at 8pm, ear plugs, meditation and if I’m still bright eyed, I will resort to melatonin or another trusty sleep aid. After a few restless nights and long hiking days, I should be tired enough that I don’t have any option but to sleep. And remembering to find solitude in the times of uncertainty and remember why I even started this journey in the first place. I find that if I take the power out of fear and instead focus it on being empowered I’m MUCH better off. I will say that 1000 times if I have to.
4. Starving: It can’t happen, and it won’t happen. But if you know me, you know that I seriously like food. I plan my days around it. I will have enough food to feed a small village, but I still have a tiny bit of fear that I will be hungry. Fear control tactic #4: bring more food. And remember that this night be the only time in my life that I’m worried about not eating enough calories in a day. I need to enjoy this shit! Every single bite!
5. Bears, Creepy men and Lightning: These are the normal outsider fears. Like they weren’t a fear until I got asked like 200 times if I were scared of them. Then I started to question myself. Fear control tactic #5: Trekking poles, bear mace (the Dear Beau is making me bring it), and a gnarly trail name. Bears are actually just as scared of us. And as long as I remember to hide my Snickers bars, I should be ok 🙂 Creepy men will take a trekking pole to the balls if they even try to mess with me. And there is basically no place that you are safe with lightning, so I’m just gonna pray to the mother nature gods if I get in that situation. Lastly, I remind myself that fear only has as much power as you give it. Most of the time it is much larger in your mind that in reality. I’m on a mission to point that useless energy waster elsewhere.
Happy Trails! -Sade