He looked at me and asked “Are you scared?”
I looked down at the floor in thought and realized “Not anymore.”
For the first time in my life I have not a single fear. I am completely stress free and happy. He probably has no idea how important that question was to me but it came at the perfect time. Without him asking that, I would not have realized how much happier I am out here. Despite logical things to be afraid of, I live completely content, ready and aware, but far from afraid.
At home I was afraid of everything. I was afraid of my procrastinating too much, afraid someone would break in to my house, afraid of cars when riding my bike or moped. But for the most part I really had nothing to be afraid of. Despite being a safe driver and rider, wearing a helmet, and following the laws in order to minimize danger, I was still scared.
Out here I have logical fears. When all my clothes are wet , I should maybe fear hypothermia. When bears and mice are after my food, I should maybe be afraid. One third of thru hikers this year got Lyme’s disease. One out of five got Giardia, and probably one out of ten got staff. Many people got two of those and a couple got all three. But the fact that I have real things to be afraid of has led me to not be afraid, but rather just be conscious and aware.
If I think about how I could have better hung my food when I am trying to sleep, I would not be able to sleep. I guess I have just learned to be content with everything around me and in all truth if I were constantly afraid of all th danger of hypothermia and wild animals and wet sheer cliffs, I would not be out here.
But I am here, and I am the happiest I have ever been because I am not afraid.
Someone said to me before I left “That trip will change you forever man” and I said that I hoped so. The way I was living at home was not totally healthy and being out here where everything is real has put things completely into perspective for me.