It already started. The looks of dissatisfaction and slight disappointment.
If anything, that is the intimidating aspect of this whole experience. I do not know if I am ashamed of this yet, but I actually fear the judgement from other people for my decision. My supposed decision.
It is not like I am quitting and becoming a bum. Well, let’s be honest. I would absolutely love to do just that. Gear myself with my backpack filled with essentials and just explore the wilderness. Heck, I even dream of living in a van just driving to every horizon I see.
At this point, I could actually complete the PCT next spring and that’s frightening and exciting at the same time. The thought of that dream being an actual reality sends electricity through my veins and squeezes my diaphragm. I think my heart would burst, literally.
But really, if the PCT came and went, I still would not be a bum. I could not. Most likely, my life would then encompass more and more of the wilderness, but I have way too much schooling in my upbringing to just go to waste. However, even now, I just want to do it smart. I want to stop cracking my head open and just live life.
There is SO much more to these couple years on this earth than we actual realize. I know that I would make an excellent medical professional. I have the determination and work ethic. My personality thrives in high pressure environments with team dynamics, and my heart is cold enough to withstand the realities of poor health and death. But I just begin to question where I want to engrain my identity.
I do not want to spend and essentially dedicate my life to healthcare. I know I would, because that is how I am. But I would dedicate at least three years to my education, plus who knows how many more establishing myself within the profession. I do not want to be that involved with my job. I do not want to be a workaholic because I know that I will be. I will dedicate my life to this profession and although it is attractive and financial stable, and SOCIALLY acceptable (like really), I find myself reluctant.
My priorities have changed. I have perspective. What kind of perspective? I am not too sure.
All I know is that this past year has shown me things. My adventures have taught me something else about life. It is soooo true what “they” say that traveling is the only thing that you can buy that will make you richer. I would be so bold to make a clarification to that statement and add that pure travel makes you richer. Travel that truly unites you with nature and our very selves.
How do I explain that the process of stripping myself of all my material things, placing only the bare necessities in a backpack, and carrying it ten miles into a canyon with no cell service, awakens a force of appreciation? That your breath and your lungs are helping you move through these beautiful places and you no longer are eating just because you’re hungry, but because you HAVE to nourish your body? That there is SO much more to the world than cars, appointments, time, and stress, that it really REALLY is not worth it? That the act of being so intuned to the earth, the smells, the sounds, your breathing and sweat, just revitalizes your spirit?
How do I explain that those are the reasons I am reluctant to pursue a corporate job? That I just want a job that is basically just a means to an end. An of end of a very fulfilled and enriched life because I want something more than just financial stability and helping strangers live a longer life. I want to be the best person I can be, and help my friend and family on a personal level, not a distant one. I want to be able to plan for weekends or weeks on the road, but love what I do at my work. However, I want to leave my job at work where it belongs.
So if I am capable and know I can do well, why don’t I do it? Because I simply do not want to.
It will be hard to convince people why. But then again, why do I have to?