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[pct-l] 6 months ago
It has been six months since I first crossed the Canadian Border (9/21/96)
and I thought you might be interested in reading how one through-hiker
may be doing.
I am back living in the city. I do not feel like throwing up anymore
everytime I am in a moving vehicle. I drive to work, trying to blend
in with the rest. I wear ankle weights (10 lbs each) walking around
work from sunrise to sunset like shackles, maybe metaphorically telling
me what I feel of this life. I have begun to lose all those extra
weight I gained right after the trail. I have cleaned my living room.
All my pictures in the PCT are in 12 albums. I have attempted to
show those pictures to some close friends twice but could not get them
to relate. My diet has adapted to this way of life. I have
stopped eating breakfast, just lunch and dinner. So all in all, I
think I am ok.
But last night...
In the midst of the dark, I dreamt that I was speaking with someone about
how I felt when I ended the trail. There, I saw myself crying and
that certain heaviness in my heart was more real than ever, the wonderful
life, the struggle, the pain, the meaning, the ending, standing straight
as if I were made out of steel, protecting myself from all these invisible
points that seemed to stab at me.
I woke up in the middle of the night, not being able to breathe easily,
stood up, and heard this old clock ticking louder than ever. In a
daze, I shook it, the ticking sound did not dissipate. What is it
telling me? Time... I finally unplugged the clock, went back
to sleep, and woke up to birds greeting the coming day. Spring is
But I am not ok. The change that happened to me is very deep that
only rises through moments when I am at peace and honest with myself.
Yes, I am still grieving. Time heals everything, but not necessarily
to the same state. Now, knowing, will I ever be satisfied of this
city life? I do not know.
For all you hikers, may you have a safe journey. Nourish your self,
and if things begin to turn difficult, see it as a sign that you are growing.
All the best, Ben
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