I am constantly on the hunt for new veins of inspiration, in search of a new feeling that breeds ideas and higher roads. Recently, I have taken on a book that has slowly changed my life with every page. “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed is rich and real, nothing has compared for me. I crave this book like I crave food.
Cheryl embarks on a blind adventure after she loses her mother to cancer and finds herself lost in her mind. She is determined to hike the Pacific Crest Trail in hopes of an inner awakening, in hopes of something new.
“I would want things to be different than they were. The wanting was a wilderness and I had to find my own way out of the woods.”
I have never felt more close to someone who I’d never met. She gets it, she understands life in a way that I do. Different tragedies, similar wounds. She is my sister.
Thursday came and I took my lunch break at work hoping to gain some ground in the book. Reading does not come easy with my schedule. Something hit me like a ton of bricks as I followed her journey through the pages, my heart did weird things in that moment. I asked myself, “Why not you?” Processing anxious thoughts of wanting to take off across the country on foot, I sat there like a child studying my fingernails. That was it, this was my next adventure, I could not shake it. I’m a very stubborn female who almost always does exactly what I make my mind up to do. This stubborn armor has taken me deep into life, so much life. My mind was immediately frantic with doubt and obsessive rotations. I wanted to say it out loud. I wanted to scream it and then scream “FUCK YOU” to my retail prison. Instead, I called one of my best friends, her and I run the retail prison together.
“Mare, I’m going to hike across America.”
Surprise and support radiated from the other end of the phone. That’s when it all started. That phone call marks the day when my balls got a little bigger.
After anxiously researching trails across the country and instructional YouTube videos on how to properly use bear mace, I was ravenous for the start line. The Lord spoke to me about a cause, “What will you walk against throughout your journey?” I instantly knew that this hike was about freedom, freedom in my mind. Doubting my cause, I was reminded that the negativity and doubt were confirmation that I would definitely be walking for freedom in my mind. BINGO. I was a crazy ass, I battle my mind more than anything. Sometimes the pill isn’t enough, sometimes you need to pack and GO.
The American Discovery Trail stretches from Delaware to California, all of about 6,800 miles in distance. In this season of my life, I am not able to complete the entire trail but I have high hopes that one day I will. I will start with a portion of the trail that begins in Denver, CO and ends in San Francisco, CA. My journey will equal a total of 1,772 miles, I will begin in the summer of 2015.
Logistics crowded my mind. Questions from friends and family came quickly.
“What about Lane?”
“Aren’t you scared, Jodi?”
“Are you for real, for real?!”
I have plans for Lane to fly out to my locations at different times during the trip, should make for an adventurous summer for both of us. My hope has always been that Lane would be strengthened and inspired by my travels. I want him to grow up with a strong mind that tells him he can accomplish anything he desires. I believe that for him and I want him to believe that for himself. I have always done motherhood differently, it’s never been predictable or familiar. My son is intellectual and free, he has a way of seeing things. He imagines opportunity and thrives off of his dreams. I can say with confidence that my travels have made me a better woman, they have propelled me into my best. When I am my best, that is when I am my best for Lane.
In 259 days from now, I will fly to Denver, CO and push my body to limits it has never known by hiking to San Francisco, CA. I am scared out of my mind. I am doubtful. I am weary. I am periodically defeated. Above all, I am stubborn. I am wild. I am ferocious for new air. I have so much preparation in the upcoming months, in every aspect of life. If you are a praying person, pray for me. If this entry has lit a fire under your ass, join me on my journey. Whether it's 15 miles or 1,500 miles, you are welcome to join and stand against whatever beast may come your way. We'll do it Forrest Gump style.
Life has been given to us, let us all keep living.