Here’s the thing about long distance hiking:
It really can kind of always be something.
It can be smoke or heat or blisters or rough terrain. It can also be a mixture of high emotional highs and low emotional lows. It can be the general discomfort of sitting too long with your brain.
This is where I’m at today.
Today, the smoke is oppressive and I feel sad, sick and confused for most of the hours that I am awake. I don’t know what exactly provides me with the general narrative that I don’t know what the fuck is going on or how to do anything correctly, but there it is- waiting for me around every bend. I climb through the deluge of my too intense feelings, I descend through the deluge of my too intense feelings. I lay on my gray foam pad at lunch, listening to Gold Dust Woman with my hat over my face and I am stuffed full of both chips and my too intense feelings. My stomach hurts.
The conundrum of being alive is that we just never know what emotions are going to show up for us. Half the time there’s no reason for good moods or bad moods or confident moods or insecure moods but there they are, waiting none the less. The human condition is this: we get to feel an extremely wide swath of bullshit, whether we want to or not. That is the cave I am in today: bullshit, bullshit, bullshit and forward motion, one foot in front of the other. I cannot conceptuaize who I am very well and it’s both confusing and annoying to me. Does everyone worry about these sorts of things this much?
I am so lost in this maelstrom that I barely notice my knees until I realize that despite my 20 mile day they did not hurt once.
I recognize this up on a ridge as I sip the peppermint tea that Carrot made me because the smoke and the heat made me barf in the last two miles of my climb and I laugh. If it’s not one thing, it’s another- truly. In long distance hiking and in life in general, too.