It’s always been hard for me to just chill.
Call it being overactive, ADD, super excited or whatever. I don’t like sitting down in a house when there are things to do. Even right now, as I am taking a short holiday in the beautiful home of Pineapple’s family, I want to
- Clean the kitchen
- Go on a run
- Finish reading that book Brian suggested
- Write this blog
- Write a book
- Write a letter to my long lost friend
And I’m thinking about all these things, thinking really hard, thinking too much, getting antsy, fighting my insides when in reality? It’s really not a crime to just sit for a second. Or a minute. Or an hour.
I am working hard. I always am. Why do I feel so bad for taking time off the trail to exist, to chill?
Stop. Pause. Rewind. Where ARE you, Wayne?
OH, that’s right, you probably have no idea what’s actually going on. So, I was in Damascus, VA with Pineapple not too long ago when he started coughing more. A lot, actually. We thus decided to extend the already planned double-zero with his family and got picked up early. Except then, when we got back to his house, things began to look grim for his health.
I am a lover, a fighter, and a supporter. Which leads me to my current position in taking time off to help this kid fight through whatever ailment this is. Cool beans, totally fine.
So now he’s all like, “Wayne, what are you freaking out about?” because I’m pacing back and forth and then sitting down and fidgeting and planning and almost yelling and cleaning his kitchen until it shines in places it doesn’t even need to because I can’t stop thinking or planning or freaking out.
Take YOUR time!
So now it’s got me thinking about taking my time. This is my time to have, my time to spend on whatever I want. Due to my deep care for a friend, I ended up in a lovely home in Virginia off of the Trail, making new friends and learning about philosophy and theology.
I am hiking the Appalachian Trail. I am attempting to make it a formal thru-hike, 2200 miles in one calendar year. It’s going to happen in pieces, but it’s going to happen fully.
At first I saw “taking your time” to mean going slow, going at your own pace. But then, today, I started thinking more about it. Wasn’t the point of this trip for one to take ownership over one’s time? How could I possibly forget that!
Here I am in between a new dear friend, a crazy hike, my familial obligations, and a duty to keep working to give this blog valid fulfillment. That’s why – that right there, that’s all in my mind, almost constantly. How to make it all work, how to fit all the dedication and the loyalty in my heart into reality. It seems there’s more room for that stuff in my heart than there is in the real world. Maybe it comes down to lack of resources rather than space.
Either way, I feel myself breaking and expanding into something more, something stronger. Much like scars are tougher than the skin that broke, I am stretching and breaking to fit more in, to be able to hold all this “more” tighter.
This sense of guilt, of duty, is hurting me more than it’s helping. In the end, no one owes anyone anything beyond kindness and understanding. And in my situation, there’s no reason to justify, to fight against people who support you, who listen to your story. There are no fingers to be pointed, no havoc to be wreaked. I am creating a false sense of immediacy and pressure in a world that demands nothing but genuineness. Being away from the Trail has brought back the negativity my mind used to hold. I am wont to worry, to pressure myself into creating something of “worth.”
Worthiness will come.
A Woman With a Plan
I’m going back to the trail on Thursday. Here’s the plan, Stan: hike the trail locally until Pineapple gets better, hitch a ride with the family back to Damascus, keep hiking until Elena’s graduation, go do that, then come back!
It’s still happening, and I need to remember that. I get so antsy, so confused, and so sad to update people when I get off the Trail. But this is all part of it. These side trips are all part of the big journey.
I’ve been having a ball with Pineapple’s fam. Oh my gosh, they seriously are the coolest group of cats! I’m learning about philosophy and theology from Brian who’s got a big shiny Ph. D, and the ladies of the house are the most positive, beautiful, forward thinking people I’ve met in a long time.
So cheers to the future, cheers to wherever this adventure will bring me next.
I hope you take your time, take your time by the reigns because we only got so much of it! And it’s best spent living, no?