It’s almost been a year now and everyone I know is starting to reminisce about hiking. The long winter has left a mark on me that I think I might bear forever. When I started hiking I thought the hardest part was the weather. Later on trail I thought it was letting go of friends that I had come to love as we hiked to our own natural rhythms. But now I see that the absolute hardest part about trail is not being there.
Through my memories I find the strength to overcome my personal insecurities inspired by modern society and become the person I know that I am. I am coming to peace with myself. In only one year I have answered some of my greatest questions by changing the thoughts behind my questions. I’m now asking more meaningful questions through meditation. My answers come out in actions. It seems reasonably inexplicable what inspires humans to do what we do or why we do not do the things that we love. I no longer need to ask what inspires me and make a list. I can close my eyes and tell myself go forth without fear and I do. I trust myself and believe in the intricate workings of the world as an organic whole.
I am thankful.
Post-trail depression is a real thing. Many hikers are struggling with meaning and existence. After having such amazing connections with strangers, after beautiful nights sitting in the forest and walking our bodies to health, re-entering what I undoubtedly consider a perverse society is certainly a little off-putting. But I’m not going to be angry about the concrete anymore or sad about our concepts of value. My meaning is founded in bringing happiness and appreciation to those around me (no matter what) and that is enough to live a happy life.