Life After Trail : Day 7 – Dec 2, 2019⁣

‘Running from or to…? On asking unhelpful or untimely questions.’⁣

Smoking clouds in southern California on the PCT.


A whole day ahead of me with no commitments. Time to write, sketch and reflect.. Bliss. ⁣

But first I needed buy some ‘town clothes’. All I have to wear is unwashed outdoor gear and tomorrow I fly to London. So I get a Uber to Boot Barn where I buy a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. ⁣

Then I find a craft shop to buy watercolour pens and a sketch pad. But back at my Airbnb the pens and sketch pad remain in the plastic bag. I’m distracted by my thoughts : ⁣

I don’t feel ready to go back to ‘normal’ life. I’ve tasted the freedom of this simple outdoors life and I’m scared to let it go. ⁣

I start googling The Continental Divide Trail. It’s longer than the PCT, going through 5 states, south bound it starts in New Mexico and ends in Montana. Could I do it next summer? Can I afford to if I rent my house and work my ass off? ⁣

‘Woah there Shona’, I tell myself. ‘Weren’t you planning on staying home, digging deeper into counselling and psychotherapy work and mountain leadership training?’ ⁣

But my mind resists. Maybe I could write a book using my diary extracts from my PCT journey? Maybe the CDT could be part 2! Maybe I’ll have as much impact on people’s well-being through hiking and writing as I have from my counselling and retreat work? ⁣

I boil my question down to: ⁣

‘Am I running away from my life ⁣
or am I running to my life?’⁣

The more I think about this the more confused and exhausted I become. ⁣

Before I drift off to sleep I find a new thought:

“Stop making it binary.”

It doesn’t have to be a ‘black or white’, a ‘to or from’, a ‘right or wrong’. And I’m ridiculously privileged to even be wrestling with these questions and options. ⁣

And it’s too early for me to make any big decisions about what’s next. I’ve good clarity about my direction for the next 6 months. ⁣

I’ve town clothes, colouring pens, iron in my blood, a parasite free gut and a flight home tomorrow. ⁣

I’ve people who love me waiting for me. All of this is enough. All of this is more than enough. ⁣

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