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[CDT-L] [cdt-l] birds in cages



I hesitated to reply to this thread, just as I hesitated to reply to the 
thread recently on the AT-list about what you do for a living. Because I know 
that with serious hikers, there is this intense frustration about the 
dichotomy between the "real world" and the world on the trail, and I don't 
want to sound like I have it all figure out, because of course, nobody does.

But what I'm trying to say is that I have always believed that real life can 
and does offer all of the wonderful things on the trail. Everyone's path to 
it is different. In my case, I was really lucky because first, I simply 
couldn't STAND being in the regular officey real world, so I just plain 
couldn't do it; I was forced to create a life out of bits and pieces of 
unmarketable abilities (music, writing, a little bit of teaching) and 
passions. It DID take a really long time and a lot of work to get it 
together, but I don't think thru-hikers are afraid of work. And, also, it 
turned out that I could write in a marketable way and had a passion for it. 

Obviously, we can't make our livings playing in the woods. But I really 
believe that we can all create our lives out of the cage. That takes as much 
courage, I think, as thru-hiking -- to live without a regular paycheck, or 
benefits, or retirement -- and provide all that for yourself. It takes a 
passion for finding your path. And yes, a little bit of tolerance for "real 
world" crap (following up on late payments, paying insurance). 

I just want to say, it's possible. But to live  outside the cage, you just go 
there and refuse to go back in. 

Karen
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