Welcome to my first Trail Tuesday!
Every Tuesday I am going to bring something; anything remotely trail related here; be it a park recommendation or review, a piece of gear I like, a personal story, snacks or food ideas, the occasional guest entry…I definitely have some things up my sleeve!
I am trying to bring some flow and consistency to the table so I am not as scatterbrained as I was the last half of 2017.
I have not been out this winter as much as I have wanted or hoped to be and I have noticed it’s affecting my mental wellbeing. My anxiety has been at max levels the last few weeks. Work has been nuts. I have a plate full of projects and events in the works. We were both sick for about 5 days. Things need to be done around the house. Life and plans happen and the weekends I usually utilize for “me time” are filled with other engagements.
I’m sure most nature junkies can relate to this…once I get some outside time in, I am almost on a high. It keeps me afloat for a few days. Maybe a week. There’s just nothing like a day or more in the woods. The thing that comes second best for me is therapy through writing. Here we are.
I was off one afternoon a while back and asked a couple poll questions on my Instagram stories. One question being “Do people still read blogs?” Out of 40 responses, 88% of people said that yes, they do read blogs.
I encouraged them to share with me what they liked or expect to read in an entry. I didn’t get a huge response but the few inbox messages I did get, really helped me to decide and sculpt what I wanted to enhance and change around here.
One answer gripped me because I couldn’t agree more.Years before this blog, I had others. The original overshare platforms – Xanga, ModBlog, LiveJournal…and for the last 15+ years a notebook journal, always tucked in safe spaces of my bedroom or a bookshelf. Transparency through writing has never been a problem for me.
Social media, especially Instagram and Facebook, tends to create an onslaught of posts; usually the “Best Of” reel of one’s day or weekend. The future is now! Our own little slice of the Internet where carefully curated words and photos are subject to instant approval or disapproval through a rating of 6 different emoji reactions!
You can add a filter to every photo, but I challenge you to keep the other part of your content unfiltered. Your words.
When is the last time you shared the bad part of your day or week outside of the pleasant picture? If you’re like me, behind that perfectly staged photo is probably a little bit of a mess. Embrace it! We need to be more realistic and relatable. We need to be able to connect in this way. We overcompensate so much every day. Let it out.
Every person knows that not every day is a 10. Not every story has a happy ending. Not every adventure is epic.
For instance, you can see a photo of an ecstatic girl on top of a mountain – but you don’t see how she struggled almost the entire way up. How she felt like turning back or breaking down because she was hurting and tired. How 2 weeks after this trip, this girl decided to change things to better her health and since October 24th has lost 26 pounds (and counting!) to ensure her future endeavors are a little easier.I have always strongly expressed the importance of sharing raw feelings, being fully aware of them and working through them. I don’t think anyone should be afraid to admit when they have weak moments. It builds character and respect; in the form of self and from others.
I don’t ever want to stray from the real reason this blog is here. I came here in 2016 with the intention of having a place to come to terms with the loss of my grandma while finding myself healing through nature, to share my travel and trail tales as well as a safe place to keep my journals of adventures past, present, and future. Hiking has slowly made me who I am. It’s mended me. It’s changed me. It’s still changing me. I have let go of a lot of things and even some people. Yet I have gained so much more.
I am patient. I listen. I focus. I am present. I am stronger. I am prepared. I say yes. I speak up. I am overcoming fears. I push myself. I am happy. I put me first.
This Trail Tuesday is the honest, unfiltered truth. It’s where it all began for me; on a trail.
Simply walking on a trail has made me a better person, and I know it will continue to do so. I will still hurt and curse and sweat and hate some of the days I’m out there. Some days I won’t want to be there but I’ll always be glad I did in the end. I am my truest form outside. I let it all out on a 12-24″ wide trail and bring back the pieces and place them here. The feelings escape through the bottom of my feet, the stress leaves with every breath and sometimes through silent tears.
Damn right when I’m at the top, I’ll be all smiles – but always and forever with the photos will come my story with it; the good, the bad and the ugly.