… thinking about my upcoming 6 month AT hike and trying to identify and face some odd underlying fear I can sense. Really that’s the only way to deal with fears, right?
And suddenly it hit me where this fear is coming from.
I dearly love my kids, grandchildren, and my friends here. And you see, when I was a child, my family moved a lot. In fact by the time I graduated high school, I had moved 18 times and each time I left behind my friends… and had to find new ones.
But that was then; I was a child and had no control over any part of my life. Now I’m an adult and able to maintain contact with people while I’m gone. They won’t forget me while I’m gone. They won’t stop loving me while I’m gone.
Wow! Serious wow.
… I will strap on a 28 lb pack and walk miles in the woods, but won’t walk 1/2 mile down the street and back to the store for milk?
… waiting for ibuprofen to kick in and struggling with a name for my AT blog.
I’m really looking for a simple, easy to remember name that speaks to what I hope will be a spiritual journey for myself and a method of raising awareness about violence done to women world-wide.
I do not underestimate the tremendous privilege I have to be able to safely undertake such an arduous and expensive challenge. In most parts of the world, if a woman puts everything she needs on her back and walks 2000 miles, it’s to save the lives of herself and her children. Even making the trip would mean risking her life, especially solo.
Look what happened to Jyoti Singh, 23 yo medical student in India, as her and a male companion rode a city bus. I want people to know her name. I want people to know Jyoti Singh was raped and beaten and brutalized with a steel rod until her intestines were pulled out and then she was thrown from the moving bus to lay in the street bleeding. She died 13 days later.
I was raped at the age of 13 by a man twice my age in a backroad gravel pit; not with the brutality that Jyoti Singh underwent but it left scars all the same. Think: I was 13. I was a child.
This is the risk women face at the hands of violent men. We risk being beaten, we risk being raped … merely by virtue of being female.
OK ….. so this post has become more about what male violence can do to women rather than “what do I name my blog?”
But these are my thoughts as the pain in my back subsides (thank you medicine) and I can perhaps finally get to sleep.
There have been so many of us but please let us never forget her name … Jyoti Singh. Let her death not be for naught.
… that my 6 month commitment to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail is going to be longer than an embarrassingly large number of my “relationships”.
Exactly 2 months from today, my feet will step onto the path that I’ve dreamed of walking for decades.
As I plan and prepare for this dream-turned-reality, so much goes through this Libran ADD mind and I often find myself on overload! The preparation is as much a journey as the hike itself!
You see … for my entire life, I’ve defined myself as someone who can’t seem to make decisions and there are a ton of decisions to make before beginning a 2,184 mile backpacking trip! What do I do with my apartment? And all my stuff? What will I do when I come back from the trail? How will I upload videos to my blog? What shall I name my blog?? Do I stick with my JetBoil or switch to a lighter stove/cookset? Rainpants or not? Where can I find a down sweater that I can afford? Which mittens should I get? How heavy a base layer will I need? What if it snows a LOT?? Will my Keens suffice? What do I do about medical insurance? What books/music do I want to load on my phone? or would I be better off getting a little iPod? What about recharging my phone … battery pack or solar system? What foods do I want to dehydrate and have shipped to me on the trail? and to which mail drops? and who’s going to do this shipping for me??
Newsflash! I am making these decisions one by one and no longer choose to describe myself as indecisive! 😉