Saturday, October 20, 2007

Adjustment - Part 3

Lauren and I are down visiting her sister and husband in Virginia, where I spent the better part of the day helping to install new windows into their townhouse. Being engaged in something constructive felt decisively good.

We've been in contact with trail friends and we're certainly not the only ones facing transitions, sometimes awkward ones. I've compiled a short list of some recurring themes that I've experienced or heard:

Jumping back into an old routine, where everyone is doing the exact same thing they were doing before. Unspoken expectations resulting in tension or disagreement. Well-meaning people concerned about thru-hiking as an irresponsible lifestyle pattern. Automobile traffic. Finding people generally can only relate on the topics of buying things and what job is next. Superficial conversations.

The post-trip adjustment period is one that faces all thru-hikers, yet resources and information regarding the subject are few compared to the abundance of pre-trail and on-trail material.

My friend, Crow, was on the PCT this year and I appreciated her brief reflection on reentry from the trail.

Personally, I think the important thing is to not get hung up on the "trail life vs. the real world" mindset, and to embrace each day we're given.

On the trail I improved my ability to live in the present moment, which is a mindset I'll continue developing. The so-called "real world" is whatever we make of it, each and every day.

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