I can hear the sounds of the street outside right now, Portland is waking and getting to work. My gut is in knots and has been for a few days now. At night I wake intermittently with jolts of stress, anxiety, excitement and thoughts about things I need finish: that speeding ticket I got the other day and oh my god I have only three sleeps till I am on trail, is my plane ticket actually correct, will I be able to find my ride from San Diego? I feel nauseated.
A million little worries.
I remember a time when I was younger and lived for moments like this. But I suppose now that I am older with a few more shits to give, it's harder to enjoy this very strange transitional time.
I turned 32 about a week ago. I went to the coast with my boyfriend and we ate raw oysters and enjoyed each others company very much.
I'm going to miss him. Partnership while long distance hiking is tricky, but we're rolling with it as things happen. He understands me. I will see him again when I walk through the Crater Lake area, around the time that the full solar eclipse will happen.
I've been able to have a few precious moments with friends. Eating Mexican food and witnessing that Portland is a parody of itself, while buying herbal teas in little coops and nibbling bulk bin golden berries covered in dark chocolate. I've been here for 10 years, the longest place I have ever lived in my life. I say Oregon is my home now when people ask.
I'm not bitter about the changes Portland has gone through since I moved here. It's inevitable. But I can't relate to some of it anymore and it's time to move on to other things. After the trail... if I complete the trail, home will be somewhere else in Oregon. With herbalism school in my future. A little house with my cat and witch things and a person I love, hopefully.
I got invited out for coffee by triple crowner (a person who has hiked all three major scenic trails in the US: PCT, AT and CDT) Tick Tock and a few other AT hikers the other day. Around them, I realized my tune about hiking and doing all this had a slight depressive negative inflection. We talked trail expectations and suffering and to expect to suffer.
Suffering and a negative mindset is what made me not finish the Oregon Coast Trail (also, time and money). So, this is something for me to work on. I consider myself fairly optimistic, but I seem to have lost a bit of it. So, I have my work cut out for me I think, while I hike. Reframe my thoughts and mindset, accept the suffering, be present in the moment. Hiking 2660 miles will give me plenty of time and opportunity to work on this.
I've got three sleeps left till I fly out. I got a lot of house cleaning to do and little moments left to enjoy in Portland. My boyfriend will be here in a few hours and there's lots to do still. This is my last update till I'm in San Diego. I wanted to do a gear post, but I just updated my gear page so you can see everything I'm wearing and using over there.
Many thanks to all of you who are following me, supporting me and being forces of good in the world!