Tuesday, March 10, 2015

All Who Wander

"Not all those who wander are lost" is a line from a poem written by J.R.R. Tolkien that always resonated with me.  While I don't know the specific meaning of the line based on the actual Tolkien book (because I've never read any of his books), for me it says that sometimes you need to journey to find yourself.  That even though some people might think you're floundering around, you're actually learning how to find your way. It's similar to the idea that it isn't the destination that matters but the journey it takes to get there. 

There have been many struggles in my life in the last 20 years- some bigger than others- that had me feeling as though I had completely lost who I was.  I don't really consider it a mid-life crisis but more of a life crisis as I've felt like this for some time.  Just somehow in the life choices I made and the people I encountered and the things that I had to go through, I was not the person I wanted to be.  Or rather I didn't really know anymore what kind of person I wanted to be.  I know I'm not alone in those thoughts.  I'm sure there are many other people out there thinking the same thing.  As I mentioned in my post about how this hiking trip came to be, I had found an old list written on a post-it note of things I wanted to accomplish before I was 30.  I hadn't completed any of them.  And the moment I had it in my mind to plan this trip- even before I actually voiced my intentions to others and actually started to plan the actual logistics- there was a sort of awakening.  Something I thought was lost started trickling back. 
Lately I've had one struggle after another and sometimes I just want to lay my head down and just give up.  Just let the depression take over because it feels easier.  But that little awakening, that little tiny bit of light that started was enough to keep me going.  It's gone from a tiny pinprick to a beam, and every time I struggle, I just focus on this trip. 
I've been learning that it really is the journey that is important.  And by journey I'm not just talking about the actual 40 (or 60) mile hike.  I'm talking about all the planning and prepping that is going on before the actual hike.  Because while preparing, good things have happened.  I've turned an acquaintance into a friend.  I've discovered some health issues before they developed into more serious issues.  I've become healthier by starting to eat better and by joining the gym and being more physically active.  I've been spending quality time with family outside every week- which means my 8 year old son is also outside hiking and not playing a tablet or DS.  I've gained online acquaintances with like minded people on Facebook groups and in doing so I've learned quite a bit.  I've had my long ago interest in the paranormal reignited while doing research about the Appalachian Trail.  And I've begun seriously thinking about writing a book (which was on that post-it note list) about some of the paranormal things I've come across in my research.  And I'm excited.  
This is just the beginning.  This one hike is just the first because I've already set the new goal of completing the entire AT section by section.  I'm liking this new person I'm becoming.

No comments:

Post a Comment