Lil Wayne Comes Home – The Transition Back to Real Life.

Readjusting to society has been hilarious.

My first night back I was tumbling around the house touching everything, yelling about how excited I was. FOOD in the FRIDGE?! A hot MEAL?! A TOILET?! CLOTHES that don’t smell like a moldy barn?!

It felt shocking and exciting to have so much again. I was no longer living out of a smelly backpack. I was in a cozy house that smells good with a little puppy dog and a bed.

Jubie the Pup, featuring Mom

Lots of things shook me upon re-entering society, and I wasn’t really expecting them all.

  1. Clothing Options. It takes me at least 30 minutes to get dressed just because I’m overwhelmed by the excess of options I have now.
  2. Toilets? So you’re saying I can’t just pee wherever I want whenever I need to?
  3. Chest prisons – I’m sorry, “bras.” They are the most uncomfortable contraption.
  4. Every shoe except my hiking boots feels WRONG AND TERRIBLE ON MY FEET.
  5. Lights. Oh, you mean you CAN hang out with people past sunset?

But then I began to notice some bigger changes.

#1: Time is really difficult to fill.

Suddenly, I had nothing to do all day. My first morning back in society I woke up, got out of my comfy bed, ran 4.5 miles, and returned home to a breakfast of pop-tarts and a peach.

By then it was only 9am.

I had SO MUCH TIME LEFT IN THE DAY. Hiking was difficult, sure, but it consumed my entire day. On the AT, I was guaranteed activities to stimulate my ever shifting mind. I had to complete my morning and evening chores, I had to walk, I had to climb mountains. I was constantly moving through a beautiful world.

And now I am in a house. It feels more like a ball and chain – not even a prison. I can leave, but my days are filled with uncertainty. I don’t know what to bring with me because I don’t know what’s going to happen. There are too many “things.” I am dragged down by the idea of stationary living. It requires too much “stuff.” Stuff like thoughts, tools, fabric, repair kits, medicine, comfort items. There’s so much to be prepared for, but it almost doesn’t matter what you have. All these “things” you have create a false safety net idea.

#2: I have so much patience.

As my mom entered one of her fiery moods, I sat quietly and listened. This might sound simple to you, but just think about the way you treated your mother when you were in your twenties. I am not proud to say that I used to fight back often, but I think that’s just what happens when you’re twenty-three and stupid, and she’s worried about you.

But now? The problems of every day life seem so laughable. I don’t mean that in a degrading way! I mean that to say I honestly forgotten what stressed people out. I’d completely forgotten what creates drama in daily life.

A deep calm has occurred within me. My shoulders are finally no longer stuck into my ears. I am only carrying the things I need to carry. I am greeting the world with open arms and a sturdy patience that did not exist inside me before.

#3: I’ve changed, but nothing else has.

It’s all the same back home. Maybe that’s an unfair statement, I mean, SOME things have changed. But for the most part?

Same problems.

Same people.

Same place.

Things seem to change at a glacial rate in society. 

Coming back has really emphasized the fact that I have not become a different person. I am still me, but I am a little bit better at doing that. I am more honest with myself. I am stronger. I feel better, and I treat people better.

No matter what happens? I know now for a fact that everything is going to be ok, and I need to continue to

Live in the spirit of adventure.

I am focused on improvement, but most importantly: BREAKING THE CYCLE. That’s right! Fuck the cycle. It is so stupid. I am NOT going to do the same thing over and over again.

I am not going to skip a one night trip to McAfee’s Knob just because it’s a 3 hour drive away. mcaffeeknob2.jpg

Because look at that sunrise, and this beautiful little pup.

Don’t let go of the things that are important to you.

So now I am going to continue to stumble through life, living in Richmond, VA with my cousins (and OG trail family member Walkamole!!!!) and keep on earning money so I can get tattoos and have more adventures.

Who knows what’s in store next!

For now, all we can do is

Fly on.

Lil Wayne

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The Next Adventure

Greetings from the road!

That’s right, after a week spent at home in CT I now come to you straight from the bowels of Pennsylvania. I’ve made this stop on my way to Richmond, VA where I intend to find some sort of life/job/purpose. Boom. Plans. Bet you weren’t expecting THAT from a millennial. 

Going back to my hometown is always a strange experience.

It’s a huge bag of mixed feelings. On one hand, I am so excited to go back and be surrounded by all the comforts of home. On the other, I almost immediately itch with excitement to get the fuck out. 

This time around, they almost had me. I really do miss my friends so much. And it’s important to be around your immediate family and support them just like they support you. I mean, hell, I’d be NOWHERE without my friends and fam (more on that later). I began to think I could actually establish a life there and be happy with it. So why do I desire to ditch my hometown so quickly? 

There are a lot of beautiful places and people in Connecticut. There are a lot of reasons to stay. 

And yet here I am. 

It is a confusing time to be alive, to be twenty three and torn between your desire to travel or be challenged by new experiences while simultaneously feeling guilty or sad for leaving all the people who made you who you are, all the people you know you have fun with. You are finally out on your own, in charge of making decisions for yourself, which means reaping the benefits or dealing with the consequences as they so happen. That feeling is much more isolating than I’d expected. 

I’d grappled with it on the trail but it still takes me off guard. I am in charge. Ultimately, I do not need to consult anyone about my minute or large decisions. That’s never been the case in my life before this year and it truly is a bracing feeling. 

I was filled with anxiety about leaving.

I felt sad to be up and out of home again. It’s not only scary, but also sentimental to be leaving your town. I find my heels being clipped by a bold, dark question:

What am I missing out on by leaving right now? 

And I counter it by sprinting towards another equally bold, but brighter one:

What am I going to find out there?

And as I sit reading roadmaps in a Barnes and Noble in Who-Knows-Where Pennsylvania, I cannot help but smile.


There is a charted world full of things I don’t know. Places like Michegan or Colorado or Utah are so far away, and I can feel the vast space between myself and these states; states full of people or lifestyles I don’t know. I am fascinated by the country I’ve lived in but not yet explored or understood. 

So I work to understand. I am fulfilled by moving and I seek to improve the land in any way I can. 

If you couldn’t tell by now, I live my life minute to minute. 

So on to the next adventure!

I am sitting by a pond listening to a flock of ladies have a luncheon. An old couple is fishing. I am light and lucky to have these awesome friends who are shacking me up for the evening. 


Tomorrow I will drive and maybe I will hike, and by the weekend I’ll be in Richmond, VA. 

If you’re wondering how the fuck I’m affording to do all of this, I completely understand.

Here’s my answer: it’s a combination of saving up for years and having supportive parents and family. 

I saved up my money for an adventure and I did it and now I have none. So I am seeking work, and I have the most amazing cousins in Richmond who let me live with them, and the most amazing parents who fund me to get there. I’m paying for my side trip in literal change that I found from the past decade and counted up. 


Am I lucky? Incredibly. 

Are you lucky? Probably! Mindset. Karma. Positivity. Resources. It matters. 

So I hope you are having a beautiful September. Remember to stay inspired, to stare directly into the face of that which scares you, be daring even in your mundane moments, and, as always,

Fly on. 

Lil W. 

Stories from the Woods: Smarts Mountain

The following is the story behind a random photograph from my adventure up the Appalachian Trail, because I am in a deeply reminiscent mood. 

Smarts Mountain, NH

Defeat on Smart Mountain
Photo Credit: Rocket Fuel

I don’t want there to be any illusions about this photo: I am not having a good time. 

At the end of my hike,

my dad came out for a few days and had a hard time getting up and down the hills. No matter how physically fit you are, hiking 34 miles in 3 days with no prior experience is rough on the body. “How do you DO this?” he kept asking, exasperated.

“Just like you’re doing right now, Dad! One foot in front of the other,” I’d laugh in return, not even breaking a sweat.

“No, how do you do it if you don’t want to go on? What if you physically can’t do it?

So I’ve been thinking about this question a lot since he asked, because my answer was, “I don’t know, you just…do it.” But that’s not enough. That answer doesn’t give credit to all the bad days I had on trail.

Pictured above is me during one of those “I cannot go on” moments. I made it up Smarts Mountain in New Hampshire and I wanted to…die, maybe. I don’t know, actually. I was so out of sorts that I couldn’t think at all.

Here are some reasons why I fell so hard at the top:

  1. It was mentally intimidating. The whole mountain is an L shape, so you climb this huge portion, it gets flat and you think you’re done. Except then you get a view of an even HIGHER point. I looked with disdain and dread at the little pinprick of a fire tower at the top of the monster to my right, confirming that it was indeed the actual summit of Smarts Mountain. “That’s…oh my god that’s where I have to go, isn’t it?” The sight of the far off fire tower almost made me cry. I was physically beat and the world greeted me with a view that confirmed the pain was not over.
  2. The terrain was bullshit. “Only a half mile more,” is what I repeated to myself. But it was a half mile of straight-up, rocky, rooty climbing. I arrived at the base of the steep climb and whimpered. Once ascending, I stopped often because I was out of breath. It took me probably 30-45 minutes to complete “only a half mile.”
  3. I was in a terrible mental place. For some reason that morning I woke up in a cloud. Unfortunately not literally – I was sad and disheartened for seemingly no reason at all, which happens. This meant no motivation from my friends up in Brain Land, which meant my body felt like lead, which meant I was entering panic attack mode. Let me tell you, this is NOT a fun situation to climb a mountain in.

Each step was painful. Each foot of elevation gained caused me to lose my breath. I was seriously struggling going up this mountain, mostly because I didn’t believe in myself. I kept repeating, “Just another step. You have to keep stepping,” because I knew there was no other way out. I couldn’t turn back. I had to keep moving forward for sheer survival reasons.

It is with an unfortunate confidence that I come to tell you this: anyone who says he doesn’t have any bad days on the trail is either lying or hasn’t been out long enough. Just because the land is beautiful and the lifestyle is wonderful, that does NOT mean bad days cannot exist.

I paused when I reached the campsite at the top. It wasn’t exactly clear where the fire tower was and I needed a second to check back in with myself. I was standing on the edge of having a full blown panic and I didn’t want that to happen. I searched with hungry, desperate eyes for a place to collapse alone. But then I remembered that Rocket might be at the fire tower, and that I love heights and big views. So why short myself of a good time?

When I saw Rocket at the base of the tower around the corner, I collapsed. Immediately.

He laughed at me and took a picture. That was all I needed to click back into place. The reality of the situation sunk in through my own thick, panicked atmosphere: I had made it to the top despite all the odds I set up against myself. 

Climbing up the mountain took patience and determination. I think that’s the best way to describe it. I mean, you’re in the middle of the god damned woods and the only way to get out is to walk. You have to walk. That is your only option.

No matter what sort of rock bottom I found myself in, I always knew that I had to move forward. That’s the way of the trail, especially for thru- or long distance section hikers. You are bound to a single direction. One way in, one way out.

It can’t matter how tough the climb is, because you came out here to achieve a goal.

For lots of different, crazy reasons you came out here to hike from Georgia to Maine. If you’ve got that goal in mind, you simply cannot let something like Smarts Mountain defeat you.

To be honest, I think people are physically capable of anything. I’ve seen hikers above the age of 60, hikers with prosthetics, hikers with serious injuries or illness. Physical ailments don’t stop hikers: lack of mental motivation does. 

If you’re not having a good time, if you don’t WANT to do something completely insane (like walking 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine), you’re going to have problems. You’re going to want to stop and go home.

It’s the same as with anything else. If you don’t like living in a city, you’re not going to work a job saving up for an overpriced apartment in Manhattan. The examples could go on.

So even when you’re immersed in your passions, you can still find yourself fallen and broken.

Doing what you love doesn’t always mean you’re going to be happy doing it. You simply can’t have this romantic idea of being happy all the time. You would be ignoring all the difficulties and nuances, all the tough climbs and beautiful views. You wouldn’t be giving credit to your tough work.

I’ve come to find that the road is difficult no matter which route you choose to take. 

What matters is that you’re moving forward.

And moving forward towards something you love gives you a sense of fulfillment, so even when you’re having a terrible day, you still get a view like this:

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Proof that you’ve made it somewhere awesome.

You made it. You are here. You are alive. And you are in love with the world, the life you’ve created.

Fly on,

Lil Wayne.

 

 

Stories from the Woods: Bear Mt. in Massachusetts

The following is the story behind a random photo from my trip because I am deeply immersed in a reminiscing mood.

Bear Mountain, Massachusetts

I call it, Bear Mountain: Episode Three, because there are so many Bear Mountains on the Trail. IMG_5350.jpg

In this photo, three friends pose haphazardly in the beating sunshine for an accomplishment that sort-of-matters-but-not-really. “How should we pose, what do we do?” “I’m going to pick my nose like always, so.” What you can’t see is Frisbee telling us to keep posing and all the tired day hikers wearily snacking on gummy bears or Subway.

This day was especially important for lots of reasons, including but not limited to:

  1. Watching Bobo run up the rock face climb to the mountain and sit down at the top huffing and puffing, “Oh my god don’t do that,” as I clamored up after him laughing.
  2. Learning that Gumby can’t swim*
  3. Climbing THREE consecutive mountains for the first time since I got back on trail – that’s right, I hiked over Bear Mountain, Mt. Race and Mt. Everett all in one day. A normal feat for people with trail legs, but extremely tiring for this girl. It was my first week back on trail.

But, I think, most importantly is this reason:

4. This was the first day back on trail I felt like I had a group of friends again.

I’m going to be completely honest: I missed having a squad of friends. People think this is crazy, because I “get along with everyone” and am “so easy to talk to” and “so happy all the time,” but (this might not come as a shock to you if you’ve been reading all these blog posts) I’m a nomad and terrible at being in squads and I was really really sad on the inside for a lot of this journey.

My hike had become extremely disorganized and frustrating before this point. I was suffering from lots of different problems and couldn’t focus. I tried to cover it up, for sure. Even looking back on some of my blog posts makes me laugh – I was seriously trying to convince myself that I was ok with losing ownership over my journey.

But I missed Walkamole and Garbanzo and Jukebox, I missed the Bombsquad, I missed the Undertones. I had lost sight of what was important to me: finding a group of friends to support and be supported by in order to fully heal and laugh my life away with good company.

And on this day on top of Bear Mountain, I finally felt accepted and at home again.

I was actually hiking with a group of people who made me feel at home. I felt accompanied on this hilariously long, tumultuous journey through the mountains.

Did these people end up with me for the rest of the hike? No. Which happens! Unfortunately you split ways, find each other again, and then split up again. But the beautiful thing about the trail is that no one is every incredibly far away, and there’s always another best friend waiting for you around the corner.

Gumby, Frisbee, Stubbs, Bobo, Bubuh and Butterfly (not all pictured, but all there on this day) hiked alongside me and my weak legs for a long time. We didn’t plan it that way exactly, it just kept happening. And I couldn’t have been happier, or luckier. These people are amongst the most unique, lovely people I’ve had the pleasure to meet in my life. With a biting combination of true kindness and blunt honesty, they always provide great conversation and endless jokes; a recipe for a constant good time. They showed me how to be fluid with friendship, how to just accept someone, how to not take anything too seriously.

I cannot thank them enough for all the love and friendship they gave me. It’s hard to explain without sounding like a total lame-wad. But I love them all, and am eternally grateful for how happy and accepted they made me feel on my first few weeks back on trail.

If you came here looking for a review on the terrain of Bear Mountain,

I’ll just tell you that I hear it’s easier to climb going Northbound rather than Southbound. It’s a cool mountain! That whole area is really nice….and steep.

Race Mt. is AMAZING because you walk across .6mi of ridge line. I liked that much more than Bear Mountain, to be honest. Ridge line on Race Mt.

Mt. Everett made me laugh out loud. I hit it at the end of the day when I was already exhausted and was faced with a steep climb. Some kind angel installed wooden steps into the rock face so that you could climb up it without sliding back down. I was still sweaty and sliding and saying, “Oh my god ok, I have to do it, I have to do this but FUCK.”

Climb up Mt. Everett

The hike over Bear, Race and Everett definitely knocked the wind out of some people (myself included – getting into camp that day was just euphoric. There was trail magic right before camp, too, which was so awesome!) but that just makes for a more memorable time, am I right?

So, Thanks for the memories,

they really were so great.

Fly on,

Lil Wayne.

Stories from the Woods: Nahmakanta Lake

The following is the story that goes along with this random photo, because I am in a deep reminiscing mood. IMG_6029.jpg

Nahmakanta Lake – I want you to know that I copy and pasted that name and absolutely cannot pronounce it.

This was the night that I freaked out a little bit, mostly due to hunger, but was relieved to find a beautiful camping spot next to this lake. As I took this photo, I was laughing out loud.

Everything felt terrible. I could feel the end of the hike coming and I could feel everyone disappearing. All my friends were summiting and then going home. The community was falling apart and there was nothing I could do but sit and watch from a hundred miles away. I felt left behind.

And then this view opened up and…well, how could you not laugh? In that moment of panic I had completely forgotten where I was. I was still on the god damned Appalachian Trail! I was in the Hundred Mile Wilderness! I was at the foot of sheer fucking beauty like this.

Nahmakanta Lake reminded me to be present.

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This was the morning I woke up and realized I would be really sad. Shaaades played “Into the West” for the first time for me, and my entire hike flashed before my eyes. I told him, “I’m not crying on the outside but my insides are a COMPLETE EMOTIONAL WRECK, THANKS.”

He laughed. That’s all we could do was laugh.

Have you ever completely given in to something?

There’s no other way to exist out on the Trail, and I think that’s something important to remember throughout life.

Out there I was at the mercy of the clock and the world. Anything could happen to me, to Shaaades. And we would take it. We would take it with open arms and open hearts.

Maybe it sounds lame, but that’s something I learned this night: accept it. Accept anything that’s thrown your way, and when it’s over and run it’s course you can make your opinions about it.

I welcomed the tender sadness with open arms as I looked out on the quiet lake. This lake would still be here after I left. Whether I left in tears or in laughter or in anger, it would still be here. It would still lay stretched out into the mountains when the skies rained, or when it got too cold to function in the winter. It just exists here.

I told it some secrets. I longed for a companion, but I also knew how strong I was by myself.

And then Shaaades came up to camp and I am just so grateful for his companionship in the Hundred Mile. But, I think you gleaned that from all the fun journals I wrote earlier.

Anyway, I hope you remember to find peace in your place.

Amidst all the distractions, all the stressors, I hope you take a moment to laugh and smile at what is being thrown at you. It’s kind of funny, the things we put ourselves through, if only we remembered to look up at the sky more often and see the beauty right in front of us. 

Fly on,

Lil Wayne

Stories from the Woods: Saddleback Mountain

The following is the story behind a random photo taken on my excursion Northbound through the Appalachian Trail. 

Saddleback Mountain, Maine.

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I’ve been lucky in that people haven’t too often asked me what my favorite part of the trek was, because how could I feasibly choose. But this moment is definitely up there with the big, memorable ones.

Rocket and I had hiked out of Rangeley, ME expecting all our friends to be in tow. At the advice of Shaaades, Rocket and Tailgate took a double zero (I only took one zero because I fell behind the day before), which meant we were beyond well rested. Rocket, naturally, was itching to get going. “We gotta go, we gotta crush miles,” was a sentence that oft came out of his mouth.

Alright, alright, let’s go then. The only way to get going is to go. We got a ride from a trail angel and scooted into the woods. Shaaades stayed back to watch the Bears game. Tailgate had to pee, but we expected him to catch up fairly quickly.

At 3pm, we passed a campsite that was full of people who had said they’d be hiking 10 miles instead of 2. “What happened to 10 miles?!” I asked Twodogs. He laughed in response. The temptation of having a chill day was just too great. It was with a heavy heart and even heavier legs that I bid Estus and Twodogs and all the others farewell before hiking on with the miles-crusher.

This actually turned out to be an awesome decision.

In this photo is a guy who’s got a lot to think about, and right behind the photo is a girl who’s laughing about it all. The sun is setting, it’s starting to get cold, like really cold, and camp is still .7mi away.

I think the time you spend with someone out on the Appalachian Trail is special because it reveals little bits of yourself that you normally keep private. We’re in a completely different setting, removed from the usual stressors and judgements that we grew up with. And in this way we grow to become something unique.

I have a lot of thanks to give the electric, over-thinking, hard-working individual in this photo, because he helped me get through some tough personal battles. Actually, he didn’t know he was doing that. He thought he was just hiking and waiting for a friend. But seeing him around the corner, or coming down under the bridge to the river with me, or waiting at the end of the trailhead even after everyone else had left meant the world to me, made the Appalachian Trail feel like home. He and countless others made this place feel like home.

And that’s just a really beautiful thing, perhaps even more beautiful than this sunset. 

So we watched the world get darker, took pictures, and talked about all the things we want to do. We talked about how we don’t feel like we have enough time. Yet here we were, in the endless mountains, watching the sun set.

Really, I think, we had all the time in the world. 

Fly on,

Lil Wayne

One Last Time: Climbing Mount Katahdin

5:41am

Shaaades is snapping twigs and tossing them into a fire he just made. The wood is splintering and cracking in the flames. The moon is still out. There are still a few stars in the sky, and in an hour we are going to climb Katahdin.

This is the moment I have been patiently waiting for for months.

“Do you want a bagel and coffee or something?” I ask him quietly. The morning is so delicate I feel like speaking normally would break it into pieces.

“Sure, yeah!” he replies, lighting a cigarette.

We drink cold coffee out of paper cups while the world lightens up and our friends start passing by. Easy Going stops by our camp before advancing. We proclaim our excitement in aggressive whispers. Then 12pack and Coach join in. We share hugs and apples.

 

Shaaades begins to get ready,

one last time.

And he says that after every thing he does:

one last time.

He deflates his sleeping pad,

one last time.

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“I’m not even really mad right now,” he says prostrate on the ground. “I’m actually kind of reveling in my misery, ya know? Like, I almost don’t want it to end.”

I want to slap Shaaades in the face,

one last time.

Finally, before we can even realize any time has passed, it’s time to start hiking,

one last time. 

And so begins the strangest hike of my life.

At first I feel like everything is normal. I know it’s a 5 mile climb to the top, but it doesn’t matter. It can’t matter. I’m going to do it, no matter what lies ahead, no matter how difficult it is,

I am going to climb this mountain because I walked 1,200 miles to get here. 

I am easy and even and the guys are ahead because they have long legs and the morning is cool and everything feels…

I pass day hikers and they ask how I’m doing.

“Emotional,” is all I can spit out, because with every step there’s something welling up in my chest.

Fear, anxiety – those are words you could use to describe it. But they’re not really correct. I felt the way a child might feel before going to a doctor’s office for a procedure. I knew that other people have survived this, but I didn’t know what my experience would be like. Truth be told I want to sit down and cry, but I am also too jacked up on excitement and anticipating to stop walking. 

Eventually I catch up to Coach and we complete the rest of the hike together.IMG_6076.jpg

When we break tree line, all hell breaks loose.

Unsurprisingly, I feel like Katahdin is trying to kill me. I couldn’t get up this thing easily. It had to be a challenge.

Not only is this some of the more difficult terrain on the AT, there are also 50MPH GUSTS TRYING TO BLOW US OFF THE FREAKING MOUNTAIN. 

I react in my usual way: explosive laughter. I mean, how could you not laugh? This was the end of our journey yet we still felt like we might tumble off to our deaths. There were rocks to scale, the trail kept disappearing, it was so cold we wanted to put on our puffy jackets…but we were entangled in the most important day of our lives. We were doing something so beautifully momentous.

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The contrast was striking.

Katahdin has a false summit,

if you didn’t know. I ranted about what false summits to your brain in an earlier post. But this time? Man it is WORSE. It is TERRIBLE. We’re getting close to the top of this huge climb and we think it leads to the summit, right?

“Do you think this is it?” Coach asks me.

“I dunno,” I say, craning my neck. “I mean, I guess so, it doesn’t look like it can go much further?”

“You know, with our luck, it’s probably not.”

“Yeah, I bet there’s a huge expanse of land over the top of that rock.”

We are completely right. 1.5 more miles of land stretch out before us. It’s called the Table Top? I had no idea about this. But in a way, I am relieved. The knots that had been balling up in my chest recede. It wasn’t the end yet! We still had time.

Each step takes me closer to speechlessness.

See, even THAT is worded strange. This is the part that gets really difficult to explain, because as I got closer and closer to the summit, I became…well, I don’t know.

Speechless.

I am not emptied. I feel full, but in different way than ever before. I feel part of everything happening around me. I feel motivated, and huge.

I am on top of the world. 

And then the sign comes into view.

“This is it I SEE THE SIGN I SEE THE SIGN,” Coach yells over the wind. I’m walking in front of him, and I’m feeling some tears well up in my eyes.

My heart starts beating faster and I want to ask a million questions. There are so many things I still want to do, be a part of, I want to make sure I’m guaranteed to be in my new friend’s lives, and at the same time I’m feeling complete enough that I could just die and be happy.

My dear reader, I cannot explain what happened next.

At this moment in time, I really cannot tell you what I was feeling when I saw my friends with their arms in the air, screaming for us to get there. I cannot explain how it felt to touch the sign, to let out a wild call so loud you could probably hear it from Georgia. 

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Suddenly I became more than myself. 

I became more than I ever have been in my life. 

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Maybe one day I’ll be able to explain it to you. I really hope I can, because right now, nothing seems right. It’s been almost 6 days now since I’ve summited and I still can’t properly articulate the moment.

It was a private joy greater than anything I have felt in my life. 

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In that moment, us five unlikely friends stood looking out at the world knowing it was our world, confidently gazing at the quiet dips in the blue distance. We were 5,200ft in the air, standing higher than any of our dreams could have taken us. We surpassed ourselves and became something grander.

We let out a call into the wild, wild world.

This is not the end.

It is the beginning of a beautiful, adventurous life.

Fly on,

Lil Wayne.