1 year ago today, I started my journey north on the Pacific Crest Trail. Leading up to that moment I was anxiety, fear, doubt, questioning. But walking away from that monument I knew I was where I needed to be.

1 year and several critical decisions later, my life is completely and utterly changed. The PCT shifted my perspectives and values in ways indescribable and inconceivable, and it left me a changed person.

It also left me with questions: What is my place in the man-made world? How do I financially support my lifestyle without infringing on my value system? And most importantly: How do I get home?

I’ve never felt so homesick as I did after the PCT. When I closed my eyes, I saw the glow of the sun through my tent wall; when no one was looking, I cried for the snow dusting the trees; as I slept, my dream-self treaded the trails that I missed.

In town, city, suburb – I felt so, so far away from home. I felt distant, disconnected from people, and confused. My mind flitted desperately between future pursuits, meanwhile my remaining savings emptied themselves.

Then slowly, things started to look up. I found amazing trail family in the ultra community. I was reunited with trail family from the PCT. I started running trails, and quickly fell in love. I relocated to the Seattle area 3 weeks ago.

Day-by-day I find I am answering my questions in my own way. I’m now training for trail ultras, taking flexible work, and gaining traction. Each day I look forward to with warmth and excitement, as now I’m truly building towards the life that I want rather than the life I felt obligated to create.

Looking back 1 year ago, I’m acutely aware of just how pivotal that moment was, and how much I grew and learned over those 5 months. And how the entire course of my life was suddenly and dramatically altered.

I am awed by that moment, those choices, and the life that I now discover with delight and enthusiasm. I am profoundly grateful and deeply indebted to my amazing trail family in its many forms, which has supported me immensely and believed in me through these many months. Thank you.

Deep gratitude, awe, and joy reflecting back on one simple, amazing moment. 

 

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