I used to believe that following my dreams was selfish. But when I hiked the PCT in 2017 and saw peoples’ reactions to my hike, I realized that living a life aligned with my highest self gave other people permission to live their truth.
I don’t think my path is for everybody, but I think everyone has a path that calls to them. In my life, I’ve found my greatest suffering has always happened when I have strayed from my path. When I have doubted the ‘insanity’ of my calling. When I looked outward for answers, rather than inward.
I experienced severe depression for 15 months in 2015 and 2016 after a pickup soccer injury forced me to move back from overseas and limited my mobility for months. It destroyed me: physically and mentally. But it also forced me to grow and change in ways I could never have imagined.
Strange as it sounds, depression was the best thing that ever happened to me. It collapsed my reality, put everything I have known and believed into question. Shoved my darkness, my desires, my hopes, my terrors in my face and said — look at me. It set me on journeys I could never conceive of or expect. And it reminded me that I needed to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.
So now I’m here on my path. Planning more hikes. Confused, questioning, awed, trembling. I don’t know what the future holds, but right now, I know that I need to be on trail.