I’m a writer. I’ve always written and always will. When my writing is personal, as it usually is, there’s a couple ways I tend to do it:
There’s writing for me, the thoughts, feelings, lists, and questions that spill from my overthinking mind through a Sharpie pen onto graph paper. It’s unedited and free and completely honest since, as far as I know at the time of writing it, no one but I will ever read it. I find snippets of these thought dumps in iPhone notes and on old pieces of paper and relish the emotionally saturated, unfiltered vignettes of exactly what I was thinking and feeling at a particular moment on a particular day.
Then there’s the writing I do on here and for my blog. It’s honest, too, but it’s thought out. Polished. Performative? Longer, broader pieces come together after days of mulling over an idea or collection of ideas, typing and re-typing sentences, and trying to get out of my head enough to predict what you’ll think when you read it.
Most of what I wrote on the PCT was that first type: Introspective, raw, and adorably unaware of all the ways my plans would unravel and come back together into balls of unexpected adventure, joy, and loss.
Reflecting on my experiences from a year away is fun and continues to help me grow, but the ability to immerse myself in the feelings I felt when I was ON that mountain or WITH those people or IN that borrowed hostel t-shirt is one of the best gifts I’ve ever given myself.
Our memories are unreliable at best. Each time we recall a memory, we write over it a little with new information, so any memory has the potential to change a great deal over time. But what I have is three brown paper Moleskines full of experiences, perfectly preserved. If I ever doubt why I went out there, what I got out of it, or why I want to go back, I’ve got the receipts.
I find these worth sharing simply for the window they provide into one person’s experience living in the wilderness for 6 months. You can read what I journaled a year ago today through the link in my bio. I was in Yosemite Valley (pictured), taking a short-break-turned-extended-vacation, starting to figure out I might be a badass.
#pct #pct2018 #thruhike - 18 days ago