I can’t say why life goes the way it does. Why it is that when you finally get back on the saddle, the horse has a spaz attack and you going flying the other direction once again. What I do know is that a year ago I would have considered these setbacks catastrophic. I would have convinced myself there would be no coming back from them. That the horse was going to trample me on the ground until I had no choice but to stay there.
While 2016 was without a doubt my most challenging year, the many months that have passed since that pivotal moment brought with them something a little bit different. This year was one of many lessons. This year was one of acceptance, growth, change, and gratitude. This year, was one for the good books.
As I sit here writing this – alone in front of a fire that I successfully built myself, on the side of a logging road to a destination I was unable to successfully reach - I finally have the opportunity to process the chaos of the past two months.
Besides concluding that this summer was quite possibly the best of my entire life (and a stark contrast to last year’s) I came to a number of realizations: I wasn’t as happy as I could be. In order to be happier, I needed to live closer to the mountains, I needed to follow my passion and work in a mental health related career, and I needed a vehicle (to get me to the mountains obviously). For any of this to happen, I had to make some serious changes.
After an extremely challenging year and a half, I began to grow tired of making excuses for why I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do; of constantly relying on others for my happiness; and of waiting for my life to turn around. So – in an attempt to make up for a ‘shitty summer of 2016’ (and after realizing my friends weren’t sold on the idea of hiking in the backcountry as a fun vacation), I made the decision to go on a trip through the Canadian Rockies… Solo.
In the span of my 26 years, I have lived in nine different Canadian “cities” encompassed within three provinces and two territories – varying on a spectrum between the country’s capital and a First Nations reserve in the Yukon populated by less than 300 people. Within these places I have moved a total of 11 times. The longest I’ve ever lived in once place is five years.
For a while I lost my independence. I convinced myself that I couldn’t be happy without someone by my side; I forgot what it felt like to actually enjoy spending time on my own; and I let the fear of being alone hold me back from doing the things I so desperately wanted to do. But then, buried beneath my emotional scars and insecurity, I found it again.